Sunday, April 29, 2018

Into the Gray, by Margaret Killjoy

★★★☆☆ Average

(Dark Fantasy) Laria lures bad men to their deaths at the hands of the Lady of the Waters, whom she loves and wishes she could join, if only she could learn to breathe water. (5,683 words; Time: 18m)

"," by (edited by Diana Pho), published on by .

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

Pro: The main plot of the story is about Laria’s self-realization. Laria finally accepts that she’s meant to live on land. That her love for the Lady of Waters can never extend to her becoming a water creature herself. She protects the Lady, uses the transformation spell against her attacker, gains her freedom from the obsession she had over the Lady, and moves on with her life.

Con: Laria’s a pretty bad person. She lures Holann to his death and rationalizes why he deserves it, even though the real reason is to impress the Lady of the Waters and to steal his money. It hard to root for her.

Laria says this is the third town she’s lived in in five years, but the mermaid says she hasn’t moved for a hundred years. That seems to be a contradiction, since those other towns can’t be close to this one.

The fact that Laria is a trans woman makes me think that there’s a deeper message here, since the story is about transition (albeit from human to sea creature), but I can’t quite make it add up. I've asked a couple of trans friends for feedback, and I'll add it here when I get it.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 04/25/18)
Margaret Killjoy Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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