Four reviews for week 44:
These Eyes Are Not My Own by Jennifer Nestojko (Crossed Genres)
February 2015; 5,000 words. As much horror as it is science fiction, These Eyes Are Not My Own is a fantastic exploration and critique of the medical model of disability. This story has a perfect example of a fully formed villain, one who believes she is doing good in her own worldview. Sarah is physically absent for most of the story, but her villainy emerges and is so chilling. Her quest to “cure” Leah is born out of good intentions, but becomes evil through Sarah’s violations of Leah’s boundaries and agency. The relationship between Leah and Rachel could have been antagonistic, and I was glad that Nestojko chose a different route for them. The development of their relationship through the story felt natural, and and their alliance made me cheer for them. The ending offers a hopeful resolution for a horrifying situation. A great read.
Touch by Debbie Urbanski (Interfictions Online)
November 2014; 5,900 words. It’s been about a full week since I read this story, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. There’s definitely a Handmaid’s Tale dystopic air around it; the sexual revolution in Touch has led to what seems to be a divided society, one upper class that is sex-obsessed, and one lower class that appears to still have memories of a time before the sexual revolution, but has not been fully exiled from the society. At its heart, Touch seems to be a critique of sex-positivity taken to an extreme, and much of it did speak to me. At the same time, the story was very disturbing to me, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s a difficult story, and one that could be triggering to people who have experienced rape and sexual assault, but if its intent was to unsettle, it was definitely very successful at that.
Author Spotlight: An Owomoyela by Sandra Odell & An Owomoyela (Lightspeed Magazine)
October 2015; 2,000 words. An Owomoyela’s Water Rights is a fascinating story about water rationing and hydroponics in a future that hasn’t yet developed interstellar travel. Owomoyela’s author spotlight was a great read as well, especially the responses to representation in science fiction and what “science fiction” means. I don’t consider myself a hard science fiction writer either, but I still often imagine with the universe as a backdrop, and Owomoyela’s words inspire me to explore science fiction more.
Toward a sociology of living death by Gabriel Rossman (Sociological Images)
October 2015; 1,200 words. Via Rachel. I adore anything that mixes genre with academia, and this post does a great job of describing schools of sociology through how they would react to and describe a zombie epidemic. My favorite has to be the conversation analysis one—hello, linguistics bias—especially the =[Chk]-chk, (0.1) Bang! line.