beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

The back half of F&SF jan/feb 2017

I just tried eating the 'vegetable lasagne' from the sainsburys free from range.
Gliten free pasta don't half take a lot of chewing.
It was a distinctive textural experience, to the point that I didn't really notice the taste, except to note that inly a few mouthfuls even had any.

won't be trying that again.

The magazine...

Dunnage for the Soul by Robert Reed...
I think I would bet a substantial bit of money that the author is not disabled.
Because it is ablist as all hell, while possibly attempting to satirise ablism?
It does that thing where someone society deems disabled turns around and makes people just like him, to leave them to see how they like it.
This is such a basic and shitty ablist story I've seen it about a lot of different disabilities and disfigurements.
And this is peculiar, because I've never met a disabled person who felt that way.

It also relies on humans acting in ways that humans, on the whole, do not. Someone invents yet another way to photograph auras, but instead of the usual widespread yawn, this time the whole world is so impressed they rearrange everything in new castes based on how many whatsits you've got showing in the new magic machine.
Which is the step the story takes to show consequences of such randomly assigned new 'disabilities', but it's a big one.
The narrator of the story is all grey inside and blames everyone around him's actions on their revulsion for this fact, rather than on him being a shitty human being.
And then he poisons random strangers to make them grey too.

Basically, whatever the story was trying to do, it only managed to be creepily mean and nasty.

I'm bored and unimpressed.

Alexandria by Monica Byrne is all made of feelings, and is quite a lot about impermanence and how sad it is. But it's not very much F or SF. It just put future dates on people finding the ruins. Made me feel things, but.

Wetherfell's Reed Runics by Marc Laidlaw
I looked him up and he appears to be an old white guy, so I'm not impressed with him inventing a not-Hawaii island and making the local characters there like cleaners and criminals. And bookstore guy, the point of view guy.
The plot is sort of... not? Like, it just shows us around the place, in the point of view of a guy who thinks he's a bad writer who can't describe it right, while kind of mocking tourists yet giving the reader a touristy experience.
I kind of didn't see the point. Like, stuff happens, but only a bit and around the edges.

There Used to Be Olive Trees by Rich Larson
interesting post apocalypse with lots of interesting nasties running around
and a bit of a gay love story
though I'm really tired of homophobic violence even in a futuristic hellscape.
really, we don't need that, there is plenty of drama, do something else.
Other than that, interesting characters, vivid setup, coherent plot.

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