REVIEW: “To Blight a Fig Tree Before it Bears Fruit” by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Review of Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, “To Blight a Fig Tree Before it Bears Fruit”, Apex Magazine 104: Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.

Eight brown, pregnant bodies are restrained on a stage, alive, but deeply uncomfortable. Soon, we find out why. The answer is a brutally honest look at what the wealthy and racially privileged would do to extend their own lives, if they only had the right technology. Everything but the technology itself is painfully plausible.

This is a powerful story. Short (barely longer than flash fiction, at less than 1500 words), but it packs a punch. I was impressed by the tightness of the prose, and the focus of the narrative. We stay in the present moment, with only a single flashback – when Meshee, our point of view character, thinks about what her mother would say about the situation. No mention of the history of the technology, or how she herself got to be in this position. Those answers aren’t relevant. The future is unknown. All that matters is what happens right now, on this stage.

The ending is perfect, and surprisingly hopeful. I highly recommend giving this gem a read!

Published by

Joanna Z. Weston

Joanna Z. Weston is a fantasy writer, living in Boston, MA. Her work has been published in Enchanted Conversation Magazine, Luna Luna, and Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse. She also reviews novellas for the Luna Station Quarterly blog. She is a member of Broad Universe, an organization that supports and promotes women and other marginalized genders who write speculative fiction.

One thought on “REVIEW: “To Blight a Fig Tree Before it Bears Fruit” by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.