Thursday, May 4, 2017

They Will Take You From You, by Brandon O'Brien

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(Alternate History) Back in the fifties, the Benefactors came to Earth and made some people “geniuses.” Now, as those people die, the Benefactors “harvest” their bodies. Akeem hates them for this, and he fears his grandmother might be next. (6,283 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 05/01/17, published on .

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

Pro: The strongest parts of this story are the ones that show Akeem’s love for his grandmother—and her love for him. By the end, we know the answers to all the questions—including whether Akeem got any benefit himself. Gran explains it best: “They cannot guide the stories that we tell. They can only insist we never put our pens down.” In other words, all they do is cure writer’s block--and yet that's enough to change the world.

Con: It seems a little scattered. What’s the point of the marble skin? Or even of the scenes in Akeem’s office? Is it trying to say that only black people were made geniuses? If so, why would that make Akeem angry?

The dialog is strong, but the narration is uneven.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Like you said, the dialogue was good, but other aspects seemed unclear. I don't know if only black people were geniuses or if only they had the white marble effigies. People seemed to be accusing the aliens of actually encasing the bodies in marble. They denied this but also weren't allowing open-casket viewings. The objection still remains that they were "bleaching" people of color. Also, claiming they owned them and taking credit for their accomplishments.