Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Gentle Women Dare, by Kelly Robson

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(Historical Horror) As a prostitute in Liverpool in 1763, Lolly has a hard life. She steals from a well-dressed corpse she finds in the river, with unexpected results. (6,578 words; Time: 21m)

"What Gentle Women Dare," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 22, published on .

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

Pro: The story makes Lolly a very solid sympathetic character. Yes, she’s a grifter, and she does some things we don’t approve of, but she’s got her reasons.

It’s quite a shock when we realize Meg is a figment of her imagination. There are plenty of hints up to that point, so this is very effective.

Con: The ending breaks suspension of disbelief and spoils the whole story. We expect Lolly to want money (which she does) or, once she understands that the alien can do magic, to want her dead child back or any of countless other things before she’d think of wanting all the men in the world killed. It just seems very out of character for her to even think in such terms. Nor is it believable that 900 women in a row asked for the same thing. Nor that the alien would fail to realize that granting such a request would result in the extinction of the species. Worst of all, the story seems to be celebrating mass murder as a solution to social problems.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 22)
Kelly Robson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)