Monday, November 27, 2017

The Mouth of the Oyster, by Adam-Troy Castro and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

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(High Fantasy) Plague took the narrator’s vision, but now he has the opportunity to get new eyes. Eyes that might see narrowly but too well. (5,875 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention
Recommended By: RHorton+1

"," by and (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 239, published on .

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

Pro: This story has a literary plot: nothing actually changes, but the narrator acquires a new appreciation of his situation. He’s wealthy, leads a comfortable life, and has a wife he cherishes who loves him very much.

The eyes are a temptation. If he gets eyes that see beauty, he’ll see that his wife is not a beauty anymore. Eyes that see justice would show him her imperfections and his own. And eyes that show the presence of evil revealed just how much evil he had inside him.

At each step, his wife’s advice brings him back to the right path. “I need a better eye than what I deserve,” he concludes.

Finally, we learn that his vision when he saw justice showed him not just injustices he had committed, but the greater injustice of his mere existence. How he was never hungry or desperate in a hungry, desperate world, due merely to luck.

In the end, he’s content with his lot, and asks for no more.

Con: Wouldn’t “eyes that see geometry” have been pretty useful?

His wife’s suggestions come across as selfish, and ultimately the narrator is just a little too passive.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 239)
Adam-Troy Castro Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Very philosophical. Yet I'd argue that eyes that saw beauty could be pretty useful. Beauty is subjective. You can see beauty in things if you choose to. Someone you truly love is still beautiful to you with age.