Saturday, September 14, 2019

And Now His Lordship Is Laughing, by Shiv Ramdas

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[Strange Horizons]

(Historical Fantasy Horror) In 1943 India, during the Bengal Famine, the Governor of Bengal tries to force an old woman to make a doll for his wife. (6,843 words; Time: 22m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 09/09/19, published on .

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

Review: 2019.533 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Apa’s personal tragedy really happened to millions of people. The “Denial of Rice Policy” was a program instituted by the British government in 1942 when it was feared the Japanese would capture Bengal and the Allies wanted to deny the Japanese any of the rice crop. This was meant only to remove the surplus, but, in practice, it led to mass starvation the following year.

She loses everything, but she gets her revenge in the end.

Con: This is essentially a revenge fantasy that glorifies an act of terrorism.

The story is set in 1943, which makes the reference to Queen Victoria an anachronism, as is the reference to “Sir Winston,” as he wasn’t knighted until 1953. The East India Company had been gone for almost 90 years by then, although the story mentions it as something that never goes away.

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