Debbie Urbanski. On the Problem of Replacement Children; Prevention, Coping and Other Practical Strategies (Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2017)

oh my goodnessNote to self : do *not* read editorial introductions any more. At all. Ever.

Urbanski provides a story in the form of an academic treatise that manages to be heart-achingly affecting. The Replacement Children to which the title refer relates to the old myth (but happening regularly in the story) of children disappearing during the night, to be replaced in their beds by other, slightly odd, children, who do not communicate and who have behavioural issues.

The case studies and extracts gradually explore individual and societal responses, and ideally SPOILER ALERT the reader would have been left to realise themselves that the replacement children are a metaphor for children with autism, rather than having that flagged up in the editorial intro.

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