Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Tower Princesses, by Gwendolyn Kiste

(Slipstream) They live encased in mobile towers. The government requires schools to accept them, but the students and teachers ignore or harass them. Except for Mary. (5,001 words)

Rating: 2, Not Recommended

"The Tower Princesses," by appeared in the May-June 2016 issue of Interzone Magazine (Issue 264), published by

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

Pro: Mary herself is a tower princess, but her tower is metaphorical, not physical. She's alienated from her family and her classmates, but when they attack her directly, she can always defend herself. With Linnea, she's able to shed her tower and be open to someone, but she asks too much, and ends up stuck in her tower forever--i.e. stuck in her noxious town.

Con: Mary's life is so bad that it breaks disbelief. The boys at school try to rape her. Her own brother tries to rape her. Both of her parents are unsympathetic and hateful to her all the time. Whenever she's assaulted, the police aren't interested, the school authorities aren't interested, and her parents are merely annoyed--and blame her. Things like this do happen in the real world, but it's hard to believe someone's life would consist of nothing else.

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