Strange Horizons, 22 May 2006

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“Fortune’s Food” by Kit St. Germain

In an Italian village, a priest ministers to his parochial flock—which includes Vespa-riding hooligans, a medium who reads the future in pasta "entrails," and a nasty blind man whose long-suffering daughter dotes on his every whim—in Kit St. Germain‘s “Fortune’s Food.”  Under sufferance, the priest blesses a new espresso machine.  A blind man regains his vision from this “miracle coffee,” and the chaos begins.  What will the daughter do when opportunity arises and people are clamoring for a short black?  Was the seeress right?

“Fortune’s Food” is a great example in setting mood and tone, which perhaps might have worked in a longer piece.  St. Germain does a good job of encapsulating the lives of her characters and their setting into this short tale.  Ultimately though, this is a competently written filler piece with a so-so ending.

In comparison with last week’s stellar (“Cinderella Suicide,” Strange Horizons, 15 May 2006), this one seems a little bland and vanilla for my tastes.  Not as thought-provoking as some of their tales, “Fortune’s Food” is not their worst offering either.  Have a nibble and see if you like it!