Rich and Strange: "Tiger Baby" by JY Yang
This week’s story, from the ever-superb Lackington’s, glances against the Lunar New Year, so I’m very glad my review of it appears today! Please also note the absolutely gorgeous artwork accompanying it, by Likhain.
The story is mostly slice-of-life, the stylized prose calculated to make you feel the weight of Felicity’s unwanted, unlived every-day: she goes to work, where everything is always the same; she endures her family, with whom she has nothing in common; she talks to her Otherkin friend on the internet, who thinks she understands Felicity but ultimately doesn’t. But what struck me most about this story was the way I was reading it, potentially against its grain, as a story of colonization and betrayal by one’s literatures, to be failed by stories.
I cut myself off mid-flow as I was writing this, because I was becoming shy about how much the review was turning into an essay about me and my experiences. Suffice it to say the story’s wonderfully effective, accomplishing something enormous in a very small space, and that I want you all to read it, be smacked in the face by its ending, and then talk to me about it on Tor.com!
Note: after googling dates and double-checking with the author, I realised this story takes place in 2020. My first reaction to this was “huh, that’s odd, I mean it’s not really that futuristic,” and then I realised that 2020 is five years from now.
Now I’m going to go have a lie-down.