Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shape Without Form, Shade Without Color, by Sunny Moraine

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(Horror) She can’t see the birds, but she can hear them, and they’re telling her to do terrible things. (4,345 words; Time: 14m)

Rating: Not Rated No Speculative Element

"," by (edited by Marco Palmieri), published on by .

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

The story appears to depict a person with paranoid schizophrenia who ultimately kills someone. Not for one moment do we ever imagine that her delusions are real.

It is terribly overwritten, with occasional unintentionally funny results. "If you stand in the driveway at dusk and remain silent, let it settle around you like a gray blanket, then make a single small movement, the sound explodes." The driveway settles around you?

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Dusk, not driveway!

    Pretty chilling depiction of being inside the head of someone with mental illness. While the person imagined killing someone, I thought the ending was suicide, not murder. (I'll have you know that I edited singular "they" out of that last sentence just for you, Greg!)

    1. Grin. I don't have a problem with the usual "indefinite" singular they; it's been part of informal English for centuries. And I don't have a problem with "non-binary they" in principle; I use it in reviews when that's what was used in the story.

      The problem is that, for me, it's like a term in a foreign language. I haven't mastered it, so I have to think about it every time I see it. That's not a problem in short messages, but in literature it has the side-effect of popping me out of the story over and over and over, which ruins the experience. If I didn't make allowances for that, I'd rate all such stories 2 stars or fewer.

      I may eventually learn to do it without thinking about it; it's only been a year, and it took me three years to learn to trill the R in Spanish, so it's possible. Until then, just remember that the fact that I can't do it doesn't mean I hate non-binary people. The fact I struggled to trill the R didn't mean I hated Mexican people either. :-)