Monday, June 12, 2017

Inheritance, by Michael Milne

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(Superhero) Young Oliver needs to learn how to control his powers, but his superhero dad is always too busy saving the world to help him. (4,617 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Heartwarming and Bittersweet

"Inheritance," by (edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Anderson), appeared in , published on by .

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

Pro: A great coming-of-age story. Oliver really wants his dad, but, over time, he realizes he can’t expect anything from him, and he learns everything on his own. In the final scene, we think for a moment he’s jumped to his death—or maybe to force his father to rescue him—but we finally realize that his only trustworthy inheritance is his own body.

At each step, Oliver has something specific he's trying to accomplish, but the underlying objective is either to impress his father or else to get his father to do something with him. He even enjoys a brief period when his father actually does manage to spend time with him--enough to convince us that they really do care about each other.

It's also touching the way Craig really wants to be Oliver's friend, and by the time the baby is born, we know he's achieved it.

The final scene is moving because Oliver has become a man; he no longer thinks anyone else is obligated to help him do things. And it's sad because we know he's given up on his father for good.

Con: The stakes in the story are never very high, and as a result, there's no dramatic tension.

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Michael Milne Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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