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A Cup of Normal: An Imaginative Retro Scifi Tale with One Huge Flaw

Updated on June 22, 2019

A Cup of Normal by Devon Monk

So I am diving back into my short story collections, and it’s been a while since I read Devon Monk, so I decided to return to the short story collection A Cup of Normal and story being reviewed here is the leading title in the collection. So here is my review of A Cup of Normal by Devon Monk.

What is this story about? It takes place in a world where scientists are on a quest into quantum mechanics got a bit out of control leaving suburbs riddled with rips in time and space. Husband and wife, Fabritus and Libby, are trying to solve this problem. They built a gyro that will stabilize a home if placed in vicinity. It’s not perfect but they believe in it, and they have to have it running perfectly to impress an investor at a meeting. But minutes before the meeting a salesmen shows trying to sell her a cup of normal and that miraculously changes everything.

The good? This is a creative and mildly imaginative tale. This one had fun characters, a wild setting, and so much charm. It is one of the best things I read by Monk in while. It’s so fun, in a very corny 1950’s way.

The bad? Unfortunately there is a plot hole. A big one. The possible investor turns out to be Fabritas’s mother but then toward the end Fabritas states they don’t need her money because the money was all legally left to him. This new revelation or plot twist is written in way that he appears to have known it all along. So why did they need an investor? It seems like a very bizarre mistake to make in storytelling.

Overall, this feel like imaginative fun old school Bradbury. It’s so original and fun. But oddly enough, a major plot contradiction hurts it. Like many of the stories in this short story collection, this does feel like undefined ideas spilled out onto paper and with no polishing to catch this mistake, it suffers.

2 1/2 smoothies out of Four.

Overall rating: An Imaginative Retro Scifi Tale with One Huge Flaw

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