Thursday, July 16, 2020

All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal, by David Erik Nelson

[F&SF]
★★★★☆ Some Laughs and Excitement, Topped with a Little Horror

(Horror) Melissa isn’t happy about her daft sister-in-law buying a derelict restaurant where the last owner killed and cooked his wife 20 years ago, but it’s worse than she thinks. (12,264 words; Time: 40m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)


"All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.373 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: My favorite part of the story is SherriLynn, or, more accurately, Melissa’s reactions to SherriLynn. Whatever SherriLynn’s mental problems, she’s powerfully motivated to get things done—for better or for worse. It’s arguable that the important story here is how Melissa learned to appreciate SherriLynn for who she is, as well as making peace with herself over her little “culinary accident” 20 years ago.

As far as the main plot goes, it’s essentially about dealing with the demon in the pizza oven and keeping it from unleashing Hell on Michigan. I particularly liked the twist about what closing a switch does; up to that point it had all been too easy. That made for a much more satisfying story than otherwise.

Con: I’m not sure why Melissa and SherriLynn’s actions at the end worked. The switch was closed, and the door to Hell was open, so what difference did it make if Melissa threw a taco at the window?

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