Previously Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection


Reading and writing about “Survival” in the fourth volume of this series naturally brought to mind the other story featuring human-ape relations.

I liked “Her Furry Face” by Leigh Kennedy in the first volume a whole lot less than “Survival”, but not for being badly written. Rather it is an unsettling portrait of the misogyny and victim-blaming logic with which the male protagonist resents the women in his life.

He manages to rape an orang utan student in his care, convince himself it ‘just happened’, and build up a fantasy of childlike innocence and love which he projects onto her as an alternative to dealing with the complications of human women. When he is ultimately reported and fired, he shifts to blaming her for ruining his life, as if rejection or not existing as his idealised fantasy were some sort of betrayal.

This was not a fun story to read or remember. But I do have to admit it is an effective portrayal of sexism in action.