Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Elena's Angel, by Aimee Ogden

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(Modern Fantasy) Thanks to divine inspiration, Elena creates paintings beyond anything normal mortals can do, but her gift comes with a price, and she’s come to see it as a curse, not a blessing. (4,400 words; Time: 14m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 97, published on .

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

Pro: From the very first sentence, we know that Elena is a prisoner. Then with “she wonders if the angel suspects something” we realize she’s planning to escape somehow. The possibility that she might entertain suicide adds tension from there on, and it makes the actual resolution come as a relief. Elena will produce her own work now, and the angel can just watch.

The metaphor for how creative people often feel like slaves to their muses works very nicely. Anyone who’s ever experienced that will relate.

The image of the angel shopping for strawberries at the supermarket is great comic relief.

Con: As described, Elena gets nothing out of the creation of great works. She has no sense of ownership, no feeling of accomplishment, and no joy at all in the work she does. She’s just a conduit for the angel. It makes you wonder why she put up with it—other than just for the money.

The ending breaks the metaphor.

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Aimee Ogden Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I think the metaphor still works at the end. The divine inspiration is still there, but Elena is the one in control now.