Best Served Slow barrels toward a surprising twist and a comical, though haunting, ending. It’s both funny and mysterious, focusing on a main character whose relationship with her son and his wife just got a whole lot stranger.
BEST SERVED SLOW
Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October 2018 Issue
The story is simple at first, with a family starting off a vacation. I found myself questioning how this was fantasy or science fiction at the start. The introduction of a ghost story slams through about a third through the story, leaving a ‘what’ and a ‘wow’ in the air. I probably should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. It evolves into her search for vengeance, including a brief conversation with a priestess and major allegations against her son and his wife. Through it all, we see the strained relationships she has with those around her. We’re left with a daunting future ahead, filled with hauntings and annoyances that will most definitely add up.
The main character doesn’t seem as though she was particularly happy in life. Given the option to spend decades tormenting her family, she happily thinks up ways to get it done. She’s equal parts funny and tragic, though the humor does lie in situations that could also be read tragically. There’s a lot of underlying resentment between the three adults. Mother doesn’t like her son or her daughter-in-law, son resents his mother, daughter-in-law just wanted her to go to a home. It’s a modernized ghost conflict, one that’s written quite well. It’s hard to know whether you should feel for these characters or despise them.
The story takes place in Greece, winding from a small town through the countryside to abandoned ruins. There’s some great imagery here, especially during the snow-covered drive toward the ruins. Imagining her sitting atop the car, watching the snow fall through her, is a vividly beautiful image.
Fantasy, Ghosts, Murder, Humor
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