Strange Horizons, 21 June 2004

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"Women Are Ugly" by Eliot Fintushel

"Women Are Ugly" to Seymour, and Eliot Fintushel utilizes his main character's stream of consciousness to explain the sentiment.  Seymour is a superman, not the kind in a red cape who flies, but one of many freaks within society with a phallic protuberance known as a "fontanel" that allows them to travel the cosmos with their brains.  Seymour, "bumfuzzled by lust" by his new neighbor, attempts to interact with Clarissa, but between his bizarre abilities, his mother's constant ridicule, and his muddled speech, the relationship ends before it really begins. The story opens with the ending, as Seymour recounts being stabbed with scissors as the exit point from his affair and henceforth we are led on the journey through their foiled courtship.

The narrative is awkward, harsh, and fragmented, but I mean that as a compliment.  Fintushel truly takes the reader on a trip inside Seymour's head, from which I emerged refreshed, moved, and "leaking laughter like spent rocket fuel".  The supermen are blessed and cursed, just as the story brims with anger and love.  Your enlightenment is but a click away at the Strange Horizons website.