Monday, March 13, 2017

An Abundance of Fish, by S. Qiouyi Lu

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(Magical Realism) The narrator, second-generation Chinese, doesn’t take the surplus fish ritual seriously. (855 words; Time: 02m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 15, published on .

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

Pro: It’s very emotional. The narrator mourns their spouse, and we feel their sadness. There may even be a metaphor here for how people lose their culture in a new land.

The fish pun refers to the reason Chinese people eat a lot of fish at New Year’s. In the Chinese blessing 年年有余 Nian Nian You Yu (May every year end with abundant surplus), the character for surplus 余 is pronounced the same as the one for fish 鱼, so it sounds as though you’re saying “may every year end with abundant fish.”

Con: The disaster is so silly, it's hard to read without smiling.

The last quarter of the story is pure infodump

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 15)
S. Qiouyi Lu Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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5 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. The silliness and the shortness took away the emotionality. Also, wanted to point out that we never learn the gender of either partner.

    1. You're right. Hmmm. Sometimes I get a very clear picture in my mind of the characters, and then I find myself thinking I know things about them I really don't. (For longer stories, I'll make highlights in the story where we find things like the character's names, genders, etc.)

      I'm guessing the point where the narrator burned the fish absentmindedly convinced me "he" was the husband, but 7 months after writing the review, it's hard to be sure. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. As a woman not fond of cooking, I can assure you that I'd be just as susceptible as my husband to burn the fish getting distracted by a book! ;)

    1. Yep. I notice that my conviction she was female survived the discovery that she worked and he didn't. I even have an image of her in her office. (Nice view. Too bad about the fish.)

      I'll add this to my cleanup list. Thanks again.