Friday, January 13, 2017

Monster Girls Don't Cry, by A. Merc Rustad

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(Horror) Zaria is a monster girl, but she can pass for a regular girl. Her sister, Phoebe, can’t pass. Problems ensue when Zaria’s boy/girlfriends want to meet her family. (4,809 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 14, published on .

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

Pro: It’s an excellent metaphor for people in any disadvantaged group where some can “pass” and others cannot pass. Ultimately you learn that the ones who can’t accept you if you don’t try to pass were never your friends in the first place, whereas you did a terrible disservice to the friends who would have accepted you by lying to them the whole time.

Zaria doesn’t see how wrong she is for trying to pressure Phoebe to try to pass until her ex tries to force treatment on her.

Con: The monster metaphor is spoiled by having Zaria be the victim of standard sexual harassment. The story already has a strong political message; adding another one on top of it makes suspension of disbelief difficult. Particularly when the boys Zaria meets are so extreme.

Just as the ex is too uniformly bad to believe, Kassy is too uniformly good to believe. She learns that her girlfriend has horns, wings, and a sister who looks like a demon from Hell, and yet she has no problem with it. Not even for a second.

The gravity of the story is spoiled when we realize that none of the treatments was irreversible. When everything grows back in mere seconds, it trivializes the abuse Phoebe and the others suffered.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 14)
A. Merc Rustad Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I liked the premise of monster girls, but didn't like how men were synonymous with evil. Then the end seemed too easy and rushed. The ex has one person stand up to him and suddenly it's mass rebellion, mass exodus, and the monsters live happily ever after.