Strange Horizons, August 4, 2014

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Strange Horizons, August 4, 2014

Resurrection Points” by Usman T. Malik

Reviewed by Louis West

Resurrection Points,” by Usman T. Malik, is a powerful story about self-discovery, disillusion, retribution and the unholy power of faith. Daoud is the 13 year-old son of a Christian mother and Muslim father in a predominantly Muslim society (Story hints suggest very early 21st century Pakistani Kashmir). Daoud has a gift: he can heal nerve pain in the living…and make dead limbs dance by finding their resurrection points and shocking them back to life. Fear birthed by religious intolerance is tearing the community apart, putting all of Daoud’s Christian friends in danger. That night fifty Christian homes are burned, with everyone trapped inside; and, when the authorities learn of his mother’s secret faith, his father is murdered. Daoud remembers his father’s teaching about what the Prophet Isa said: “I am the Resurrection and the life,” and decides it’s time to use his gifts for his people. Crouched over the dead remains of a Christian muhallah, he finds the resurrection point for the entire city and brings all the dead back to life.

Pick any random spot in the world where two or more religious faiths try to co-exist, and the same story plays out over history, time and again. A sad commentary on the failure of healing faith. Also, Daoud’s use of his own bioelectric potential to animate dead flesh reminds me of Luigi Galvani’s 18th century research into electrical reanimation and, of course, Mary Shelley’s story, Frankenstein. A compelling tale and definitely recommended.