Saturday, March 11, 2017

Soccer Fields and Frozen Lakes, by Greg Kurzawa

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(Near-future SFF) After the government rules he isn't really human, Chris loses his human wife and hybrid kids. (6,760 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 82, published on .

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

Pro: In one way or another, Chris does find his lost boys. Whether they’re ghosts or figments of his imagination, he’s sure he’s found them. He’s kicked his alcohol habit, and he’s going to Disneyland.

His mourning for his children and blaming himself both come across as very genuine.

Con: Chris is such a weak character that he’s hard to sympathize with, starting when he hides from his wife rather than talk to her about what was in his letter.

The conclusion is unexpected. The story has given us no reason to believe in ghosts nor has it given us reason to believe that Chris is losing his mind. We're not really sure what happened.

We have no idea what these “hybrids” really are, other than a metaphor for illegal immigrants or (maybe) for black people. Arguably that’s the point, but it makes it hard to make sense of the persecution in the story.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I kinda lost track of the story beneath the unremitting bleakness of it all.

  2. I get the feeling that maybe the accident was his attempt to save them from a life as non-humans. Taking the kid ghosts to Disney and inviting the wife to join them was a weird way to wrap things up.