Monday, May 30, 2016

The Pigeon Summer, by Brit Mandelo

Read this story
(Ghost Story) A young person mourning the loss of their best friend/lover, going days doing nothing but watching a nest of pigeons and writing letters to a ghost. (4,980 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden), published on by .

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

Pro: Anyone who has lost someone dear to them will empathize with J's feeling of loss. It's particularly hard for someone of nonstandard sexuality/orientation, because it's easy to feel that the odds were against you ever finding anyone, and you fear there will never be anyone again (or even that you'll never want anyone again).

The metaphor of the pigeons is a good one; while J obsesses over death to the point of writing letters to a ghost, the birds are coping with new life. J's fixation on the birds is a good sign because it tells us that si is still involved with life. On the night of the thunderstorm, J chooses life over death, and the story concludes naturally.

Con: We never know what really happened between J and C that one night in the back seat of the car, and whether that contributed to C's suicide (and to J's guilt). This makes J more distant and hard to relate to, which weakens the story.

The supernatural element is very, very weak; it's easy to read this as mainstream, not SFF at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05/11/16)
Brit Mandelo Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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