Friday, June 3, 2016

Salto Mortal, by Nick T. Chan

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(Near-Future SF) In El Paso, Mary flees her abusive husband and runs into one of the space aliens who have destroyed Mexico. (8,199 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 73, published on .

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

Pro: The story makes Mary's experience as a hopelessly trapped refugee very real. Still mourning the loss of her family, she accepts the abuse from her husband and retreats into fantasies about the wrestlers she had admired as a child. When she meets an alien in the form of a child who shares her fascination with wrestling, it restores her somewhat to her former state. Now she can stand up to her husband, and she's ready to risk returning to Mexico. Salto Mortal in this context, probably means "leap of faith," because that's precisely what she does at the end of the story.

Con: Even so, Mary's transformation is a little hard to buy. She has been so submissive--even in her thoughts--that her abrupt decision to stand up to Paul doesn't quite come off. Her decision to return to Mexico feels more like suicide than anything positive.

If you don't speak Spanish, you'll have problems because lots of Spanish phrases go untranslated. Even if you use a dictionary, some of the Spanish is misspelled. E.g. naguales is written "naguals."

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 73)
Nick T. Chan Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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