REVIEW: “Most Holy Ghost” by Martin Pousson

Review of Martin Pousson, “Most Holy Ghost”, in Steve Berman, ed., Wilde Stories 2017: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction (Lethe Press, 2017): 155-162 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Maybe that story, and the others, were meant as postcards from a world losing air. A world where living food petrified, untouched, and dying music echoed, unheard. if light was fading on Cajun men, it had burnt out–utterly and completely–on their darker kin, the mixed-blood Sabines, who only lived in folklore now. The Sabine legend was a gray monument razed by time, and my Sabine grandfather was left a relic.

The narrator’s Sabine grandfather, Rex, is a man who mixes truth and myth. The stories told of him are of a man larger than life, but with such minute, precise details that they cannot be myth. He is both god and man. But Rex ran off years ago, and his grandchild is left to follow the trail, listen to the stories, try to find out what kind of a man Rex really was, to find the truth behind the most holy ghost that is all that remains.

This was a lively story, subtly different from the others in the anthology I’ve read so far; but it took me until the very end to realise: This was a story of a queer young man where his queerness was not witnessed by being in a queer relationship. It wasn’t until I realised this that I realised just how strange it is that it should be the only one (so far) like that. I wonder if any of the remaining stories will also break that mold, or if this will be the only one.