Kathryn - Kat - Allen (katallen) wrote,
Kathryn - Kat - Allen
katallen

Best of Apex Magazine - review #18 - Build-A-Dolly by Ken Liu

This is as if the Toy Story movies spawned a desire for intelligent dolls that could suffer...


THERE MAY BE SPOILERS - WORSE THERE MAY BE THINGS SAID WHICH SPOIL THE STORY - I WOULD SUGGEST READING IT FIRST AT



Build-A-Dolly by Ken Liu



I read, I was enthralled and horrified and OMG it was horrible, a nightmarish prospect and reminder of how much cruelty humans bring to the world.

It is short, entirely rocked, and bites deep.

The end scene, which blends multiple irresponsibilities, may give me nightmares.

I full on recommend it.






[But... just as a nit-picky bit of bitching that's more general than this story -- not everyone responds to bullying by being mean to others. Not everyone who is bullied secretly wants their bully to like them. Not even when it's all middle-class girls bullying each other. Sometimes it may even be that the bully wants the person being bullied to interact with them, to respect them. I get a little freaked by the repeated portrayal of bullied kids themselves being bullies when they can, because perhaps in the back of people's minds that makes bullying natural (she'd do it if she had the power) and in some ways deserved (she's being bullied because she's nasty)

Amy could as easily be mean to Dolly for reasons other than being bullied -- bullies get nice toys too.

And... how come it's always girls get shown in these contexts? Boys always have to be victims of physical assault bullying, as if boys are immune to words and snubs]
Tags: #18, apex, review, short fiction
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