Review of “Playing Nice with God’s Bowling Ball” (2014)

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N. K. Jemisin (writer).

Read in 2021.

A child is suspected of having played a role in the disappearance of another, over some collectible card game.

Breezy, humorous fabulism. I find it telling how, when the protagonist crosses the threshold into the Todorovian marvelous and sees what she believes to be proof of an immediate threat to all human happiness in violation of hitherto known natural law, she immediately affirms that the familiar human scale of values is not affected. Compare “The Plattner Story” (1896), which is conceptually similar, but where the revelations carry more weight despite being less provable.

fiction text