07 Oct

“Damnatio Ad Beastias” by Kristi DeMeester

Horrific and heartbreaking in equal measure, and for the same reasons. Every one of the characters has seen so much and been through so much, and there is more than one kind of monster, sometimes in the same person. The werewolf—or really, the transformed monster—mythos is played very differently here, both in its cultural place and in its management, but the monstrous drive, and the flipside of human horror and remorse, is very familiar. Ultimately, the psychology of loss and guilt and defensiveness and addiction can drive us to act more monstrously than nature ever could.

23 Sep

“The Prince Who Gave Up Her Empire” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

I was intrigued by this piece right from the title, which hints at a story that questions gender roles and privilege. What I got was more an upending of pronouns than roles or identities, which made me question a bit what it was all meant to amount to. The vivid yet fable-like narrative did keep a good pace and drew me through the story, and the worldbuilding felt quite well realised, but it chopped in places and didn’t quite draw me in the way I hoped.