Rejoice, My Brothers And Sisters
by Benjamin Rosenbaum
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction: Nov/Dec 2019
Rejoice, My Brothers And Sisters is something of an inverted Matrix plotline. It tells the story of “an Angel” who has become corporeal and visits a “zoo” in which humans live. That zoo is our real-world–or at least a world that is very similar to our own.
Many who live within this zoo believe/know they are living in a contained and fake environment. Many people protest and want to ascend to the place the protagonist has come from, which involves porting your consciousness over to “the cloud.”
Since the story is narrated by a sliver of consciousness that would fit in a human brain, compared to a consciousness unbridled by physicality, and instead in an infinite processor, readers can’t trust the main character. First, they start out trying to convince someone the idea of ascension is impossible. But the longer the story goes on the more I began to doubt whether this narrator was in the zoo to tell the truth, or merely spread propaganda.
The unreliable narrator is cool–I love unreliable narrators–but some of the concepts in this piece just seemed tired. I didn’t really buy into the world either. I think, ultimately, this piece is trying to establish too many things in the short word-count it has. The result is that the world doesn’t feel persistent. Instead, it feels thin, washed, the people living within the zoo unreal, or simple plot devices.
Check out what Benjamin Rosenbaum is up to: here