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Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: "Map of Seventeen" from Before and Afterlives

"Map of Seventeen" from Before and Afterlives  (originally in The Beastly Bride)
Christopher Barzak 
Paperback: 320 pages  
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 18, 2013)  
ISBN-10: 1590213696 ISBN-13: 978-1590213698
Tommy is a famous painter, whose paintings critique his family and way of life--an annoyance his sister, Meg.  He doesn't seem to notice how Tristan, his boyfriend, and art ruin the family's life in this rural town.  To top it off, he and Tristan move in with the family.  They are written up in the church newsletter for prayer requests.

But Meg has her own secret:  Her will can make people do things they don't mean to.  Tommy has a further secret to reveal about Tristan, and that's why they're there.

Meg not only comes to terms with the strange but vows to fight for it.  A battle hymn for the strange.

Some readers may be disappointed that Barzak doesn't directly use speculative conceits except as metaphors, but most of those familiar with Barzak's work have come to anticipate this aspect.

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