“Too Good to be Human” by J. Brundage
From The Devil’s Coattails edited by Jason Brock and William F. Nolan
Cycatrix Press, 2011
It’s all but impossible for me to categorize “Too Good to be Human,” and that’s one of the things I like about it. There are elements of sci-fi in this story about….something that is taking over humans, replicating themselves based on their host and then gobbling up the remains. Obviously, given that description, there’s more than a little horror in its DNA as well. There’s also some spot-on observations about the cruelty of office politics, and the way that adults are often reluctant to leave the cliquish behavior we learn in high school behind.
This is a really odd, off-kilter piece of writing that’s best left to discover as it unfolds on the page – hence, my avoidance of any real plot summary. It seems like it might be more at home in a dark sci-fi collection than one that’s titled more like a straightforward horror collection, but the more I dig into The Devil’s Coattails the more I understand that the editors had a much broader idea in mind while putting it together. More and more, that’s bearing out to have been a very good decision.