Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bring Your Own Spoon, by Saad Z. Hossain

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(Dystopic Fantasy) In a future, polluted Dhaka, Hanu makes friends with a djinn, and they decide to open a restaurant—even though almost everyone eats synthetic food. (4,668 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★★★ Humorous and touching

"Bring Your Own Spoon," by (edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin), appeared in , published on by .

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

Pro: Hanu and Imbi both want to make the world a better place. Both rise above their disadvantages. Both work with what they’ve got. Together they achieve something wonderful.

Karka comes across as brash and self-centered, but that’s just an act, and he really wants them to succeed. We don’t realize how much we’ve come to love Karka until he’s gone.

The little bits of humor are great. Karka talking about “djinjistu,” Imbi enumerating his powers and including “three hundred patents,” or Hanu calmly mentioning that modern street dogs have turtle genes in them. Even when Imbi mourns that he doesn't think he can put Karka back together again, it takes the edge off a painful moment.

Imbi grows more powerful as they gather more followers, so the story's conclusion holds together; we believe they really can survive away from the city now. From simply running an illegal restaurant, they advance to creating a haven for freedom.

Con: The dystopia lays it on a bit thick. We have an evil company and an evil government as cardboard villains who're mean just for the sake of being mean.

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Saad Z. Hossain Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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