Her Monster, Whom She Loved is a fantastic depiction of the creation of a universe amidst goddesses and gods at war. The grandiose scale adds a touch of awe to the story as a battle rages across infinity to decide the fate of existence. Kaftan has created an intricate creation myth that combines the mysteries of space with a complicated mother-son relationship.
HER MONSTER, WHOM SHE LOVED
Lightspeed Magazine, September 2018 Issue
Her Monster, Whom She Loved is a creation myth that shows the birth of a universe and its god. At its heart, the story is the struggle of a mother trying to atone for her son’s mistakes, to right his wrongs before all of existence is wiped out. Kaftan has done a marvelous job of writing a new mythos. You’ve got the intricacies of a polytheistic belief system mixed with the complexities of space alongside a simple back-and-forth battle between mother and son. Creation myths are always epic, but using space as the setting, with billions of worlds and species hanging in the mix, really adds depth to the story.
The story centers on the goddess Ammuya and her 501st child, a monster who takes vengeance against his hateful siblings. Ammuya and her son are opposites sides of the coin: love vs hate, hope vs hopelessness, peace vs war. She sees her son as the monster that he has become, yet is reluctant to end his life because of motherly love and her compassion for living things. While her son can be seen as evil, he can also be seen as the result of torture and hatred from his 500 siblings. With her sacrifice, he becomes a multi-faceted god with both love and hate influencing him.
The use of the universe as a setting showed true skill from the author. She was able to take the infinite expanse of stars, nebulas, planets and untold number of wonders housed in space and place them within the walls of the story. In so doing, the unfathomable depth of space becomes a battlefield easily traveled, using galaxies and black holes as hiding places, and suns as sustenance. It made for a truly grand creation myth.
Creation, Polytheism, Space, War, Myth
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