Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life. (Interzone #229, Jul-Aug 2010)

Interzone continues to publish stories by new writers and writers from across the globe, and this is from a Filipinan now living in the Netherlands.

The expat in her story is somewhat different – as we find from a story that starts off comfortably in a Wisteria and English-rose clad pergola in a garden. AG is in fact a created construct, and her domestic bliss is a life she now has, which is in start contrast to her early days when following her creation, the father-figure scientist responsible for her, lets her into the secrets of the society they live in. The oppressive regime in Metal Town, with Mechanic’s men harvesting those who are no longer productive and taking them to the Rememberance Monument, is one from which she needs to escape.

The story and the theme don’t quite match, feeling a bit forced together – the theme of expatriation and alienation and not belonging, the story about the created woman and the setting and having to lose the father-figure who is surplus once she is created. As a result we don’t get enough about the alienation of the expat, nor about Metal Town, the Mechanics, and the Rememberance Monument. From this story, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz could clearly do both.

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