Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Garden's First Rule, by Sheldon Costa

[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Horror) People come to stare at a teen boy partly turned into a tree and planted in a garden, but he’s actually cool with it. Unlike the other kids in the exhibit. (6,542 words; Time: 21m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 12/02/19, published on .

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

Review: 2019.688 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Part of the pleasure of this story is gradually unravelling the mystery of what the heck is going on. Why is this boy turning into a tree? Why is he so sanguine about it? What happened to the other kids?

Once the picture becomes clear, it’s unutterably sad. Life hasn’t been kind to Eli, and he’s happy to leave it. He does love his sister, but he doesn’t appreciate her efforts to save him. He doesn’t want to be saved.

Con: I kept wondering what anyone gets out of this. Why would anyone pay someone to submit to this? Why would anyone pay to witness it?

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Sheldon Costa Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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