Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Lamentation of Their Women, by Kai Ashante Wilson

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(Horror) ‘Nisha only has five hours to get across New York to her dead aunt’s apartment before the city comes to throw away all her stuff. She’s not even sure it’s worth it, but they said her aunt was a witch . . . (9,141 words; Time: 30m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Ann VanderMeer), published on by .

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

Pro: En route to the aunt's apartment, we learn all about 'Nisha and Anhell. Both characters are very well-defined. Likewise, the narration is transparent and the dialogue is flawless.

A few cute touches add to the fun. Here are just a few:
  • If you pronounce “Anhell” as an English word it sounds like the Spanish word for “angel,” even though it literally has "hell" in it.
  • Anhell’s trick from the night before has “but deliver us from evil” tattooed in Spanish on his chest.
  • The name "Tanisha" means “ambitious” 
  • The subway delay due to a suicide means they literally start their journey with a human sacrifice.
Obviously the story has a strong message about black people rising up against their oppressors.

Con: The magic weapons turn ‘Nisha and Anhell into Mary Sues. From that point, there’s no more story. Worse, it makes the story read like a twisted revenge fantasy.

It’s hard to recommend a story that seems to approve of cold-blooded murder of the police and which makes fun of the suffering of their widows and children. Yes, it's made clear that this is the work of the devil, but 'Nisha and Anhell aren't bothered by it a bit; they're having the time of their lives.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 08/24/17)
Kai Ashante Wilson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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