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“In the Teeth of Glory” by Dave Wolverton
Card picked: Seven of Spades
From: David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible
Review: Everyone has encountered a little old lady like Henretta. She’s never mean to anyone to their face, but she never has a kind thing to say about anyone out of their hearing range. She’s judgmental, but knows that she never does wrong. She believes she’s a good Christian.
Wolverton’s story asks why. What is it about life that forms someone like Henretta? Is it her neighbors who don’t share her views? Her grandson and great-grandson have moved her from neighborhood to neighborhood when things get too much for her. Is it due to the awfulness of her husband’s death? She believes that he dragged part of her soul with him and will dramatically tell you that this is the case. Is it because she’s maybe a little mentally ill and prone to fits of paranoia? Or is it something tied to an old Indian legend about the taste of souls?
Despite my teaser there, this story was very light on speculative elements. It meanders a bit, but does a decent job of making Henretta at least a little sympathetic. Aging…it isn’t for the faint-hearted.
About the Author: In Copperfield’s intro to this story, he cops to only being familiar with Dave Wolverton as the author of The Courtship of Princess Leia. Which, despite being an award-winning author in both literary and genre circles is where I know him from too. (I used to read a lot more Star Wars fiction when it was the only Star Wars to be had. Also, Copperfield is a Star Wars fan?)
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