Friday, May 10, 2019

Probabilitea, by John Chu

★★★☆☆ Average

(Modern Fantasy) Katie’s life is almost unbearably busy, being a grad student, grading papers, and keeping her parents happy. How can she find time to be the Daughter of Chaos and Order too? (7,090 words; Time: 23m)

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 28, published on .

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

Review: 2019.316 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This story is really about Katie’s decision whether to take the responsibilities of a Manifestation or not, but the particulars of dealing with a group of fascists who want to kill some people at a demonstration adds some excitement.

It’s nice that there are no easy answers here. Jackson (who’s awfully nice for the Son of Life and Death) is very sensible when he explains to her that just killing the bad guys or beating them up will make the problem worse, not better.

Con: Katie and Jackson are way, way too powerful. The only risk they face is disappointing themselves and/or their parents.

In the climax, there are some annoying narrative lapses. For example, when the one boy steals money from the tip jar, the narrator didn’t need to editorialize that was a “thoughtless act of casual privilege,” and it ruins the moment.

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