Steven Francis Murphy’s debut story, “Tearing Down Tuesday” in Interzone 210 (June 2007) is a fantastic tale that hits some heavy real life subject matter in the apocalyptic future following the Singularity.
It’s about a teenager, Kyle, who’s grown up with the stigmata of being an abused child. His dead father’s sins recur when Kyle is older and abused by Traveling Reverend Caldwell J. Robinson. However, the reader is led to believe that Kyle choses to be victimized in order to earn money to purchase his only friend, the robot named Tuesday. Unfortunately, sexual abuse and victimization is not a clear cut issue, and Murphy does a masterful job of presenting the dilemma and rationalization Kyle has to undertake in order to survive in the attempt to save his robot friend.
I definitely recommend this story to everyone. It does have mature and graphic subject matter, but the story’s frankness and honesty might also serve an awareness raising function for those not personally familiar with sexual abuse.