Like weird stories? Wanna see some odd humor and bad takes? Wanna find out how two random kids destroyed Earth with a donut? Then check out my upcoming short story collection arriving June 1st. Pre-orders are available now from Amazon and other ebook retailers. Hopefully quarantine will be done, but you’ll have plenty to read this year.<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">It’s time I got back into the swing of things. And that starts with our first Short Story in who knows how long. Today we’re reviewing The Pizza Boy by Meg Elison as featured and Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. You can buy an issue <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZFZ4O8/" target="_blank">here</a>. Though a simplistic concept, it carries a lot of undertones about being a bystander supporting conflicts in space. Let’s see what’s in store, shall we?It’s time I got back into the swing of things. And that starts with our first Short Story in who knows how long. Today we’re reviewing The Pizza Boy by Meg Elison as featured and Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. You can buy an issue here. Though a simplistic concept, it carries a lot of undertones about being a bystander supporting conflicts in space. Let’s see what’s in store, shall we?
The story focuses on the son of a Pizza-crafter, who makes deliveries to people, usually soldiers in an ongoing rebellion. Yet one of the ingredients he needs for this universally praised pizza is deep inside territory claimed by the opposition faction. Luckily for our protagonist, these officers knew better than to off him, even if he was tresspassing.
Let’s make something clear first. War isn’t pretty. We fascinate all of the old wars around the world, but when you get down to it, revolutions, uprisings, fascist movements tend to be bloody. That said, it paints an interesting picture. A sense of restraint, honor, understanding who the enemy truly is. Most of you are familiar with the Geneva Convention. Simply put, its an agreement on treatment of human beings during times of war.
In this instance, it’s unnecessary conflict with a non-combatant, aka, the pizza boy. The soldiers, despite their abusive and disregard for the kid, knew better than to bring harm upon him. It’s a wonderful look into the concept of civilians aiding in conflict without being considered soldiers. I like how deep the situation is and doesn’t go too far into the politics of war. A single incident can sometimes be more powerful than a whole story.
The writing was well crafted, showing both the world and the interactions with enough detail without being too out of place. No fancy gadgetry, no alien races. Just a pizza boy and an uprising on some distant planet. The motivation is unique too. A mushroom that grows on a planet he’s forbidden from accessing without getting into danger. The risks are clear and reasonable.
This could have gone on a bit more, perhaps having a motivation aside from “this mushroom is a key ingredient that exists in a conflict zone,” but I get the gist of where the author wanted to take this story. Aiding a war as a civilian is not an easy task, especially when these people aren’t exactly your allies.
Overall, this is a brilliant story that highlights the disparity as a non-combatant in conflicts of war. It shines a light that war isn’t necessarily about overcoming the enemy, but about keeping the outside world in mind. With the horror of war on display every single day, we have to understand what we’re fighting for. If it’s the pizza boy who keeps your troops fed, then Godspeed.
Just don’t shoot the person delivering your food.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.