This week’s new ebook is “Biba Jibun.” Originally published in Apex Magazine, #23, April, 2011; produced as an audio podcast by Pseudopod in January of 2012; and reprinted in the anthology The Book of Apex: Volume 3:
Every night as I sleep on my futon, I dream that I’m a rabbit, running on a river of moonlight. My fur is white, my legs strong and swift, and I’m going to see Mama.
Papa said that Mama left because she was one of the obake, the spirit folk. She tricked him into marrying her when he was a rich man and could buy her French perfume and trinkets from Cartier’s. But then Papa’s company got bought by a Western interest which wasn’t of a mind to buy Papa along with it. When next the full moon beckoned, Mama turned into a silver rabbit scented with Envy by Gucci, a platinum Bulgari watch around her throat, and flew out into the night.
Nebula Award winner Eugie Foster, however, brings us a fable with a heart of pure anthracite in “Biba Jibun.” She writes evocatively in this short which is a continuance of her Japanese fables brought forward into modern day Japan.
—Bob Blough, Tangent
I loved this story for the exploration of a world I don’t live in, as well as for the alienation that Rini experienced — an alienation akin to that many of us feel in high school, or even in life, as though we’ll never fit in
—Erin M. Hartshorn
A modern twist on a traditional Japanese demon. Defiant (and violent) reclamation of in-your-face femininity and sexuality.
Foster’s portrait of Rinako’s development as a character is well drawn, showing the attraction of Yumi’s world to her, but also how she remains ambivalent towards it when her new selfish focus gets her into trouble—and what it finally takes to push Rinako into making a definitive choice.
—David Hebblethwaite, The Portal