Review of Tang Fei, “Spore”, Clarkesworld Issue 176, May (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.
A story of hurt, legacy, and the legacy of hurt. The protagonist has inherited loss and pain from their father, but not his sense of being wronged or passionate need for justice. It sheds light on the fact that we can only sympathize and commiserate; we can empathize, at most. The feeling of having experienced something, however, is not something one can pass on. Nor can you transfer a need for retribution or validation.
You can, however, pass on trauma, opinions and traits, which comes across in this story in a strangely haunting way. Our protagonist’s decisions and choices are affected by this, as well as their father’s attempts at passing on that need for justice. Worth a read for the lovely imagery as well.