Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Community Service, by Megan Lindholm

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Modern Fantasy) Celtsie doesn’t want to see her ex-friend Farky, an addict who’s stolen from her in the past, but he’s got news about a mutual friend who may be in trouble. (12,029 words; Time: 40m)

"Community Service," by (edited by Gardner Dozois), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.638 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s interesting to learn that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. The strategy of getting the Wicked Witch to eat the indifferent hippo by burying it in the middle of a well-loved toy is a good one, even though it seems to have come at a cost.

Con: It's hard to enjoy a story about someone so weak and so stupid that she keeps allowing a creep like Farky to take advantage of her. Nearly half the story is consumed by his endless account of what happened to Selma, mixed with him taking further advantage of Celtsie. I gnashed my teeth the whole way through it.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed this one!

    It had a really unique feel to it -- I loved its take on urban, everyday magic, as something that feels, well, everyday. I absolutely adored the junk drawer :D

    This was also very refreshing to me, in an anthology that I did feel was somewhat one-key in its treatment of magic-wielders. So many of them were these kind of all-purpose epic beings who use some very generic form of "magic" (and often have arcane names beginning with the letter 'M'); this one actually laid out a system of magic, one with color and resonance that I really enjoyed.

    1. That's certainly true enough, although I try not to reward stories just for being "different," since I think that's a trap lots of reviewers fall into: we read so much stuff that we get tired and start rewarding variety for it's own sake.

      However, on the scale of a single book, I think you might have a point. :-)