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2013 Story 27

27. MAGDALA AMYGDALA by Lucy A. Snyder, from Dark Faith Invocations.  I really am not a fan of zombie stories (zombie movies are a different topic). I keep saying that, and yet I keep finding stories that I enjoy. Now, technically, Lucy Snyder's story ISN'T a zombie story. There's no mention of a walking dead plague taking over the world and humanity running scared or hiding in paranoid enclaves. But the main character is one of many who suffer from a disease that makes it desirable to eat brains. Human brains. A disease that also makes you lose all self-control and eventually all sense of self, if you're not carefully regulated and tracked by the government and your doctors. Sounds pretty zombie-like to me (at least in the modern sense and not the voodoo sense), and perhaps it's the lack of the "z" word that allowed me to enjoy this story as much as I did. Or more likely, it's that Snyder gives us a likeable protagonist stuck in an unlikeable situation -- she doesn't really want to turn into one of the crazy ones, but she's not sure she has any choice in the matter.  The first half of the story makes us feel for the main character. The second half is simply heart-breaking and incredibly cinematic. And that's about all I can say without spoiling where the story goes and how it gets there.

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