2.09.2004

Charles Coleman Finlay’s “Pervert” in F&SF, March 2004

As always, Finlay has constructed a well-written story--this time in a world that has “two kinds of people... homosexuals and hydrosexuals.” The narrator is neither. He is in love with a woman, Ali--a feeling which constitutes his perversion. Because he cannot interest her, he is swept away in the current of his society, following the societal proprieties and rites of marriage.

The narrative is strong and emotive, especially in the last scene's final revelation. But one wonders what shape the story might have taken had the hydrosexuality been more developed to give us glimpse of what the implications this change might have wrought. It’s a nifty idea--I just wanted a tad more unraveling and rippling of its effects.

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