[On May 10, 2021 Strange Horizons officially expressed its political support for Palestinian solidarity. The views of Tangent Online reviewers are not necessarily those of Strange Horizons. Fiction critiqued at Tangent Online is, as much as is humanly possible, without prejudice and based solely on artistic merit.]
Strange Horizons, May 2, 2022
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
The narrator of “Heavy Possessions” by Seoung Kim is a ghost who enters the body of a phony medium. The dead woman and the ersatz shaman, who practices her deceptive profession on the computer rather than in the traditional manner, communicate freely with each other, eventually becoming friends. The living woman agrees to perform a ritual to give the restless spirit peace.
There is a nice sense of gentle irony throughout this story, from the way in which the imitation medium has to deal with a real case of possession, to the fact that they engage in a ritual from a traditional religion, although neither one follows that faith. The author makes fine use of Korean folklore, as well as the modern, high-tech culture of that nation. This brief tale may not offer anything profound, but it makes for light, pleasant reading.
Victoria Silverwolf made some kim chee soup recently.