This unresolved supernatural-horror novella plays gender/motherhood like a metaphor, but then never formulates the equation. A mysterious man rolls into a small town in a hearse, has sex with a sizable percentage of the women [married, widowed, single, mothers, daughters, teens . . .] and then moves on. With each woman, the single night affair leads to easy pregnancy and difficult birth of a male monstrous baby.
What we want for our babies is the same thing all mothers want. We want them to be happy, safe, and loved. We want them to have the opportunity to be the best selves they can be . . . . We do not know what our children will grow into. No mother can know that. But we know what we saw in them; something sweet and loving and innocent . . . We saw something in our children that we, the mothers, agree might even have been holy. After all, isn’t there a little monster in everyone? . . . Every child must be reined in, given direction, taught right from wrong. Loved.
Multiple POVs are utilized to tell the tale including a group voice for “The Mothers.” This, along with the variety of reactions from the different mothers to both their individual and shared circumstances were the highlights of this novella. Missing, was any sort of reason or ending to the story.
The Mothers of Voorhisville appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas: 2015 edited by Paula Guran and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Tor.com, April 30, 2014.
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