Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Shape of Gifts, by Natalia Theodoridou


(Modern Fantasy) An ancient oracle living in our world struggles with the compulsion to deliver prophecies that no one will listen to—especially prophecies of the end of the world. (6,938 words; Time: 23m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"The Shape of Gifts," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.383 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Although the narrator changes gender and orientation over the ages, I think she’s currently female, so I’ll stick with ‘she’ in this review. (She was definitely a she at Delphi.)

The main plot of the story is the oracle’s attempt to make her prophecy of Val’s suicide not come true. Over all the long ages, the prophecies always come true whether she tells them to people or not, but this one really matters to her. And as she falls in love with Val, it matters more than ever.

Ironically, them falling in love is what triggers Val wanting to kill herself, since the Oracle’s next transition leaves her old body behind, and, as far as Val’s concerned, she died of a stroke or something, and they didn’t get to be together for very long.

But it ends on a happy note, and that was nice to see.

Con: It’s too long for what it contains. I found myself repeatedly looking down to see how much of the story was left to read.

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