Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Just reviewed “Unnatural Issue” for SBR — and a few thoughts

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Folks, I just reviewed Mercedes Lackey’s “Unnatural Issue” for Shiny Book Review and I hope you’ll enjoy it.  Before I forget, let me give you the link to this review:

http://shinybookreview.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/mercedes-lackeys-unnatural-issue-a-bildungsroman-with-teeth/

Now, as for everything else . . . it’s June 24, 2011.  That means it’s been nine years since my husband Michael and I married, which is a wonderful thing — but it’s been seven years that I’ve now observed my wedding anniversary alone due to his untimely passing, which is awful.  The dual nature of this day makes it a difficult one to get through, yet somehow I’ve made it to this point and I’m glad.

Remembering my husband Michael, his bright mind, his kind heart, his lively wit, his incredibly sensitive and spiritual soul, is a joy no matter what day it is.  I’ve never met anyone else like Michael, not in all my life, and I doubt I ever will again.  Truly, Michael was a Renaissance Man in every single possible respect and I’m grateful we were able to meet and then, later, to marry.  Because being with him for even a short time was worth it.

All that said, reading “Unnatural Issue” was difficult because it was about a widower who takes his grief way too far.  Because he has magical talent, he’s able to raise the dead if he wants and since he misses his wife so much, he’s resolved to do just that — more than that, he’s willing to end his daughter’s life in order to do this, because his daughter means nothing (his wife died giving birth to her) and his wife meant everything.

Mercedes Lackey is a pro, and she knew what she was doing in setting up the story this way.  She wanted to show that grief can sometimes be a horrible thing.  Richard Whitestone (the father in this tale) has forgotten his wife’s bright spirit and only wants her back because he sees her as a possession, or maybe a bit more accurately, a part of himself that’s missing.  And while that’s true that in marriage “two become one,” it’s wrong to bring back someone who has died, especially in the way Richard Whitestone tries to do it.

I believe, very strongly, that Michael’s spirit is alive.  And I am glad of that, because I would not be able to handle believing that everything he ever was has gone out of this universe — it would be anathema to me that any Deity figure I would care to follow would do this, and even if we don’t have a Deity to have to deal with, I refuse to believe that someone as extraordinarily good and special as Michael could arise due to a cosmic accident.

I see love as something that is eternal.  And I look forward, someday, to rejoining him in eternity.  But I cannot and will not hasten that day, as I know Michael will always be there and I’m certain would want me to get whatever good I can out of this life.  And there’s still our stories to write and edit and do my best to publish, and editing to do for other people . . . and to play on occasion when my hands will let me.

Anyway, I will continue to do my best to see Michael for what he was and what I believe he still is — a force for good, whether in this world or the next.  And a profoundly creative and spiritual individual, besides, someone I was proud to call “husband.”

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

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