beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

I've been reading the January/February 2017 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

The story I just read "On the Problem of Replacement Children" by Debbie Urbanski says the author's son was just diagnosed with autism, so they wrote this thing about changeling myths. And I kind of want to pull those pages out and burn them. I think it's trying to process some big emotions and make things silly by exaggeration, but it might be making things scary on purpose, I'm not sure. The parent reactions are scary, that's probably deliberate, it's just so weird and distanced and choppy. Either way, that's not why my reaction. It's just this whole visceral reaction to yet another bloody framing of autism as if it's primarily about the parents. As if you can't talk to actual autistic people. As if there's an original and a replacement. I pretty much don't care what else the story does, if it does that.

Which is a pity, because the story right before that, One Way, was fun SF that took an idea out and booted it around a little. But it wasn't very good, the characterisation was irrelevant to what happened, there was stuff about wives and girlfriends that never clicked with the actual happenings, and things happened mostly to and because of men, for no good reason. But still, I liked the little what does this idea do bit, and was in quite a good mood. Until reading the next story.

Vinegar and Cinnamon was quite fun, but honestly I got wrongfooted by assuming Sam was a girl and felt cheated by the gendering and then my reaction wasn't specifically about the story. It was pretty neat, though.

The Regression Test by Wole Talabi was plain good, full of thinking and vivid. I'd rec that one. I'll be turning the ideas over in my head later

A Gathering on Gravity's Shore didn't do anything for me and I forgot it as soon as reading the next. Maybe it makes more impact as a sequel?

Homecoming by Rachel Pollack is a lot of running around showing off a whole layered world with a bunch of different players. But everyone was nasty and I didn't feel enriched to have read it.

I'm only up to page 162 out of 257, I just wanted to stop and let the annoyed out before I read the next bit.

I've been reading them a couple at a time since Wednesday. Is good reading, I think.

I had forgotten how much harder original fic has to work to earn my buy in, and how starting from scratch in a short form leaves things sketched in. Also you don't get that one zingy yaay that you're promised in every story found by searching by pairing. I feel like different reading muscles are involved.

Also I keep getting distracted by the characters in my head in the story I ought to be writing.

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