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The Goddamned Tooth Fairy: 10/10/09

Today's story from Fantasy & Science Fiction is "The Goddamned Tooth Fairy" by Tina Kuzminksi. It's the "classic" reprint. I'm putting classic in quotes because this story was first published in 2000. The choice to reprint it came from a forum comment involving someone getting a tattoo inspired by the story. (See notes on pages 94-5)

I'm feeling really ambivalent about this story. I like the main character. I sort of pictured him as Nathan Fillion playing Richard Castle. He's a little goofy but his heart's in the right place. He's a single father (a widower) with a teenaged daughter and he's finally trying to date.

The date involves a day at the races (greyhounds). About a third of the story centers around the dogs and their silly names. It's a musing but not exactly something I'd consider either fantasy or science fiction. Things don't really pick up in that direction until the protagonist meets the title character. Why he's called what he's called is never adequately explained.

There are also horror elements. The Tooth Fairy seems like more of a threat than a friend. Part of that is filtered through the protagonist's own tragic past. Again, I felt that all this information comes too late in the story. By the time things are being explained I was going from confused to frustrated and grateful to only have two or three more pages left.

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