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Matheson, Richard – “Born of Man and Woman” (1950)

07/10/2012

Perhaps the story I enjoyed most this year, but also one about which I have very little to say; this is the first-person narrative of a monstrous child kept locked away by his terrified, abusive family. The broken English of the prose is the first faint hint that something isn’t quite right, followed by increasingly-creepy revelations that end with the child deciding to “hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn’t be nice to me.” I would argue that this is more of a horror story than a science-fictional work, offering little-to-no commentary on society and technology unless we read between the lines and figure the child as another nuclear mutant of the atomic age.

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