Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Teratologist’s Brother, by Brandon H. Bell

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(Modern Fantasy) If Telly can figure out why his sensible brother Peter got into the occult, maybe he can figure out who (or what) murdered him--before it kills him too. (6,700 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 83, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Telly came to lay his brother to rest, and then to figure out how he died. He accomplishes both, more thoroughly than he expected.

Peter's totem was the beaver, and that's why he had to castrate himself to escape, just as the mythological beavers did to escape the hunters. But Telly's totem was Peter, and what Peter did to escape home was simply to grow up, and, presumably, to forgive his parents--something Telly never managed to do. So when Telly switches from anger to pity and avows that he's growing, it tears the brane apart.

Telly's strategy of avoiding incineration by climbing the mountain of beer cans is clever and amusing.

Con: It's all a lot more confusing than it needs to be. Also, it's annoying that the author misleads us about the fact that Telly (not Peter) was the gay brother by making him have a crush on Bice.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 83)
Brandon H. Bell Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. The end was just too trippy for me. I also felt Brice's characterization was inconsistent. At first, she's all cold professional cop who Telly assumes must be a lesbian ::eyeroll::. Then she goes out drinking with him, running around laughing and shoving people in the crowd. It seemed too abrupt of a switch with someone she just met on a case.