"Ponies" by Kij Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The story is available here. Go read, I'll wait -- it'll take you less than four minutes.
Yeah, I need someone to explain to me what's so brilliant about this. Because it's being talked about like it's this amazing, groundbreaking thing, and I'm reading a controlled and perfectly constructed but ultimately shallow parable about dreams and fitting in.
I mean, it's very well done, obviously -- the archetypal TopGirl and everyoneLikesHerGirl, the cartoonishly nauseating violence. That moment where the incarnation of Barbara's dreams has more defiance than Barbara does. The way this is not just a story about conforming yourself but conforming your -- actually, you know, you could say it's also about conforming your sensawunda.
But at the end, I'm just going so? And? Yes? This is news? My girlfriend suggests, after throwing herself on the sword and reading some of the comments at Tor.com, that most people who are blown away by the story are people who haven't ever spent time thinking about these things. I find this deeply depressing. That women could have lived through these rituals -- because most of us did, in one form or another -- and never know it, even years later.
But, sincerely. Am I missing something here? Is there something else going on with this story?
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