Friday, June 30, 2017

Ora et Labora, by Theodore McCombs

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(Post-Apocalypse) Obb is sure he’s not really “disordered,” but his family have sent him away to a monastery where the church forces people like him to learn math. (8,933 words; Time: 29m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 229, published on .

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

Pro: There’s something amusing about the church being fixated on math.

We get some idea of when this story takes place when it talks about how infinity is “a concept dreamed up in books thousands of years old from before the Floods.”

As far as the plot goes, it’s all about Obb trying to make a place for himself. He eventually finds one, even if it seems to be a terrible one.

Con: Obb never really jells as a character. There's no emotional impact from his choices at all.

Forcing all the LGBT people to do math and forbidding anyone else seems like a really strange idea—even by the standards of odd religious restrictions.

It’s hard to see what Bolyai and Agatha’s motivation is in trying to escape together.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Wow, what a world of unexpected contrasts. That they've hoarded this knowledge and created this power by making it mystical and magical. Creating a refuge and yet they're segregated, rejected by family and society. Protected from outside, yet pushed to extremes by those inside. I liked the way we share Obb's bafflement about why he's there and realize along with him exactly what it means to be "Disordered."

    1. It had a lot of strengths to it. I really wanted to like it, but it ultimately failed to wow me enough to recommend it.