Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Darwinist, by Diaa Jubaili

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(Modern Fantasy) Shafiq has a birthmark on his face shaped like a banana. This may have some connection to his father’s belief that people came from monkeys. (4,995 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"," by (translated by Alexander Hong, edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 10/30/17, published on .

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

Pro: There’s a political statement here about the inhumane treatment of people in pre-invasion Iraq. It’s not just Shafiq who’s regressed to an animal—it’s almost everyone.

Con: It’s not a story at all. No real protagonist, no plot, and no speculative element until the very last paragraphs.

Most of the earlier material is quite dull.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 10/30/17)
Diaa Jubaili Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I guess the point is that it doesn't take much for humans to reveal their true monkey nature.

    1. I dunno. Monkeys are cute. :-)

      But they're selfish too. I was at a zoo in Honduras and they let you go into a cage with lots of little monkeys. You could buy packets of food (nuts, I think) to feed them with.

      So I put the packet of nuts in my shirt pocket and I drew out the nuts one or two at a time. The monkeys would take them out of my hand. One even sat on my shoulder.

      And then the one on my shoulder calmly reached into my pocket, grabbed the whole bag of nuts for himself, and scampered away.

      So, uh, maybe you're right. :-)

    2. Yes, I was thinking I was being a little harsh on monkeys there, but...maybe not! :)

      There also seems to be something about learning from the past as what really happens to Shafiq reflects what they imagined happened to his father. To be safe, I won't ask my husband for bananas! ;)