Review: “Aberration” by Genevieve Valentine

1 of 5 stars.

Aiming for high literary without anything to say is hard and pointless. Maybe this could be considered prose poetry? I still prefer poetry to have a point, too–and this does not. Bouncing between 2nd and 3rd person, this piece has an undefined he, she, and you that remain untethered from any particular place or time. Also, nothing happens:

His trajectories seem like real journeys–every time she sees him she knows he’s come from a place and is going to another, moving through the world and witnessing everything he can. Hers is a slow, suspended spiraling-down, and it’s possible to tell at which points he came back by clocking when things skidded violently to one side, a kite that’s been shot.

He watches her for a while, unblinking. She wonders if he’s descended from the vulture, the way she’s a child of that half-changed reptile.

The entire piece reads similarly ungrounded. A certain level of abstraction can be a wonderful thing–see, Waiting for Godot, or Ulysses. But this is not those. I have previously read this author’s “Abyssus Abyssum Invocat”.

“Aberration” appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2015 edited by Rich Norton and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Fearsome Magics.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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