Saturday, October 29, 2016

Between Going and Staying, by Lilliam Rivera

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(Near-Future) Dolores is a high-paid city doliente, who dances at funerals. Then the small town she left behind calls with a request she cannot refuse. (6,532 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"Between Going and Staying," by [], appeared in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction [] issue 11-12|16, published on by .

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

Pro: Presumably this takes place in a future Mexico (hence the quotes from Octavio Paz), where they've adopted a new funeral custom. Dolores is well-named for this job, since her name means sorrow.

The story is about her struggle whether to follow the life she leads now or whether to give that up to go home and avenge her dead lover. Somewhat surprisingly, Melody really is dead--Dolores doesn't manage to save her--and, even more surprising, Dolores decides to stick with her city life.

Con: The visions of Melody's ghost seem to be pointless. They add a supernatural element to a story that's not fantasy at all. Dolores isn't a very sympathetic character; by the end of the story, we really don't much care what she does.

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