Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Ache of Home, by Maurice Broaddus

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(Slipstream) Celeste endures the life of a poor black woman in Indianapolis, but she has a little bit of magic, and she means to stand up to the people trying to destroy her neighborhood. (4,581 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 17, published on .

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

Pro: Celeste and Ghost are great characters. They both have magic, but although it’s interesting, it’s not very powerful, and that seems to symbolize their place in society as well. (Their names are symbolic too.)

The confrontation with the god Limos shows how even people without power can still make a big difference.

Once Limos reveals himself, the story shows a humorous side. The god of Famine wants to retire from this world after millennia, and he wants to leave a monument to himself—and he picks a big, urban supermarket?

Con: The first 40% of the story is very slow and simply makes the point over and over that Celeste is doubly oppressed: first as a woman and again as a black woman.

She convinces Mr. Limos to go with a garden by showing him how the whole community is connected, and yet everything in the story up to that point has told us how awful the community is, so it’s hard to buy the idea that this convinced him of anything.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I felt like the latter part of the story after Limos arrives was too lightly sketched. I don't really get Celeste's magic or what happened in the confrontation. And why does Famine look like he's been hanging out with Pestilence too much? (Thought Ghost's magic was pretty cool though.)

    The story isn't telling us the community is awful. In fact, we're told about Ms. Sheila and Ghost looking out for the neighborhood children. The problems come from outside sources trying to impose fixes that aren't actually good for the current residents.