Thursday, May 4, 2017

Octopus vs. Bear, by Kendra Fortmeyer

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(Modern Fantasy) Unexpectedly, you woke up female this morning, in someone else's body. Now you have to decide what to do about it. (5,216 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 84, published on .

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

Pro: The narrator’s adventures are wild enough to provide a good bit of tension. The scene where he submits to sex despite wanting to change his mind at the last minute is an eye-opening one.

Having caused so much destruction in this poor woman’s life, it’s fitting that he wakes up the second day still in her body and thus stuck with the problems he’s created.

Con: What he really did was wake up transsexual. You’d expect him to have all the issues a trans man has—not enjoy the experience.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Disagree strongly with the Con here.

    The protagonist has the point of view that many young men (particularly of the 4Chan persuasion, but others too) have. And it rang scarily true. I've hear this sort of "if I was a woman for a day" fantasy all over the place.

    Except for ruining the woman's life by risking pregnancy and being quite so care free with her survival, I think I would do something similar. But that's part of the point of the story. Being a woman gives you sexual power and makes you the focus of attention and could be fun for a day. But it also shows when that can get turned around as that attention is unwanted and you are powerless.

    I admire this story for NOT being more "the lives of women are the worst and men don't understand". I think that made the points it did feel much more salient rather than preachy.

    1. That's a fair point, but I'd like to point out that an awful lot of fantasies are things that people wouldn't enjoy very much in real life. On the other hand, I suppose it's possible that the novelty wouldn't wear off in just one day.

  2. A large part of his initial enjoyment is that it's just a lark. He's been a man up to this point, and he *thinks* he'll go right back to being one tomorrow. He's excited to get a sneak peek at the other side and enjoy what he sees as the advantages of being female without consequences.

    As a woman and seeing the author is female too, I thought it was well done; good to hear from Benedict's comment that she seems to have treated the male perspective fairly well too.