Thursday, April 12, 2018

Clap Your Hands, by Andrew F. Kooey

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Christian Horror) Five’s father, a revival preacher, blames him for his mother dying in childbirth. The boy prays for a miracle, but not all miracles have the expected results. (3,300 words; Time: 11m)

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 107, published on .

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

Pro: Five’s prayers were answered at least twice, but neither time did he benefit. First, the woman with rotten teeth was healed, but once she married Rev. Gunderson, she turned on the boy—never knowing he was the one who’d invoked the miracle that healed her. At the end, the man burying his family hardly appreciated Five turning the grave into a well.

The story does a good job of making us feel Five’s pain, and it’s especially effective in portraying the way he internalizes the abuse he gets from his father. He “knew a murderer had no right to correct anyone.”

Con: Ted Gunderson is a cardboard villain, and Mary becomes one as soon as she marries him. They’re both so full of mindless hatred and evil that it’s hard to take them seriously.

It’s also hard to see why the Mexican man who needed to bury his family reacted so badly when Five struck water.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 107)
Andrew F. Kooey Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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