Saturday, November 24, 2018

Bedfellow, by Jeremy Shipp

[Tor Novella]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Horror) A homeless man (or something that looks like one) breaks into the Lund family’s house on Friday night, and by distorting their memories, insinuates himself into their lives. (46,934 words; Time: 2h:36m)

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

Review: 2018.671 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of this story is the characters. Imani tries so hard to make life fun for her kids, with things like “Family Fun Night”; she really loves her family, and it hurts her terribly that her husband has drifted away from her.

Kennedy’s teenage anxieties are amusing and touching at the same time, as are Tomas’s childish interpretations of what adults say and do.

Con: Hendrick falls a bit flat; he’s a cardboard bad guy, but compared to Marvin, he’s the Diet Coke of Evil. There’s nothing admirable or lovable about him, so we have no sympathy for him at the end, and that keeps the story from having much emotional impact.

The story gets off to a quick start but then it stalls for the middle 50% before it picks up again at the point where Fantastico tells Kennedy to destroy him and the other “helpers.”

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Jeremy Shipp Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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