REVIEW: “Normalization” by Xauri’EL Zwaan

Review of Xauri’EL Zwaan, “Normalization,” Cossmass Infinities 7 (2022): 33-39 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story opens immediately upon a violent death, so if that’s not for you, avoid this one.

Richter, the narrator, is part of a collective, where everyone is a “we”, no one is an “I”, until something catastrophic happens and the narrator is separated from the others and becomes an “I” again. After the violent opening, the next few paragraphs are a rather labored info-dump. All in all, the pitch of this story wasn’t right for me, but I did appreciate the meta-commentary on how all too often people have a very narrow view about what (or who!) gets to count as “humanity”.