Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Marriage Book, by Mitchell Shanklin

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[Strange Horizons]

(Allegory) Newlyweds try to get by in a world there there’s not enough reality to go around, and where the things you write in your marriage book become part of your reality. (1,529 words; Time: 05m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 01/06/20, published on .

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

Review: 2020.040 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Under the surface, this is the story of how two very different people struggle to make their marriage work. Each tries to change the other—sometimes with the consent of his partner, sometimes not. But the result is a mess, not a work of art, and after just four years, it all falls apart.

Con: I’m not sure what the ending is supposed to symbolize. John rips Sammeth out of existence and replaces him with someone by the same name who’s much more compatible with him. An act that Sammeth himself contemplated but ultimately rejected. But in real life, couples can’t do that, so I’m not sure what the author is trying to say. Pity, because it’s a very powerful scene.

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