This story was published in Uncanny Magazine. It currently has 10 recommendations on the Nebula Reading List.

I’m not sure what the narrator here is (angel? harpy?), but she is part of a sisterhood with pointy teeth, has wings and can appear as a human woman. In this guise, she is killed by “a nice young man from a good family.” Her spirit flees while the coroner puzzles about the wing stubs, and she hatches again from an egg incubated by her sisters. They all return for revenge, riding up to the guy’s house in a 1967 Mercury Cougar.

The story is fairly short, and the format is creative with a big chunk of it presented in bullet points. Bolander has a tough style that I like, and I also appreciate that she has challenged the reigning trend for sentimentality here. However, the story just looks to me like a statement of anger against rapists and murders with a feel-good ending that suggests the strong sisterhood will prevail regardless of violence against the female kind. There’s a great hook and it’s entertaining, but there’s nothing much in the way of character development and very little in the way of details here. It doesn’t say much except the obvious statement. I expect lots of readers will like the message, but I’d rather have more substance for a Nebula nominee.

Three and a half stars.

Advertisements