Eclipse Online #6, March 2013

Note: This post was imported from an old content-management system, so please excuse any inconsistencies in formatting.

Eclipse Online #6, March 2013

“Loss, with Chalk Diagrams” by E. Lily Yu
“In Metal, In Bone” by An Owomoyela

Reviewed by Jo-Anne Odell

“Loss, with Chalk Diagrams” by E. Lily Yu details the sense of loss felt by Rebekah Moss when her best friend, Linda, is found under a bridge with her wrists slit. Rebekah recalls their history together, the good times and the bad. And most of all, she remembers how Linda chose to grieve over her losses, how she rejected the option of having her brain rewired. That’s what Linda wanted Rebekah to do, too. But Rebekah makes her own choice.

This bleak tale is meant, I think, to say something meaningful about the need to accept loss as part of life. It works best if you don’t look too deep.

In “In Metal, In Bone” by An Owomoyela, Mortova is at war. Benine has been called to serve, because he can read the history in objects. He is supposed to read bones, to identify the dead. And he does. While he works, he learns more about the people around him, in particular, the effect of the war on their spirits and their outlook.

This story is more like a puzzle. You can’t really read it; you have to sort through it. There are many ideas presented, but not pursued. Some made me wonder if this wasn’t an attempt at black humor. I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. The tale’s biggest success is in conveying bleakness.

If you’re a fan of literary fiction, this issue might appeal to you.