Thursday, March 15, 2018

Of Warps and Wefts, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo

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[Strange Horizons]
★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(African Fantasy) Chime’s husband is also another woman’s wife. The sharing isn’t a problem, per se: she has her own wife when she’s male. The problem is that she keeps getting him back in increasingly beat-up condition. (5,451 words; Time: 18m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 03/05/18, published on .

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

Pro: The story is primarily about Chime realizing that it does no good to grumble to herself over the problems in her relationship with Ding; once she musters the courage to confront him, he promises things will be better.

Dime’s relationship with Felicity shows how bad things can be in the other direction, where Dime has no problem telling Felicity what’s wrong, but she just puts all the blame back on him.

There’s probably a metaphor here about how marriage changes people, but I don’t quite see it.

Con: Chime/Dime make for unsatisfying protagonists because they let people walk all over them. It’s great that Chime stood up to Ding, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe it’s going to make any difference.

The narrator is Chime (female) in the daytime and Dime (male) at night. Her husband is Ping (female) in the daytime and Ding (male) at night. So Chime and Ding barely overlap at all. Why are they married? Shouldn’t Chime have a husband who overlaps with her all day long?

A few smaller things are just puzzling. Why are the children made of matchsticks, for instance?

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Innocent Chizaram Ilo Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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