Joe Hill, son of the famed novelist Stephen King, has brought us some fantastic horror. NOS4ATU comes immediately to mind, with Heart-Shaped Box not far behind. Such is, sadly, not the case with his latest collection of short stories, Strange Weather. The four stories, connected only through peculiar weather events, are fraught with social justice
themes that feel forced and awkward. Minority characters clumsily written by a privileged white male vaccillate between patronizing and insulting, never able to hit any genuine notes. Every protagonist is a "marginalized" figure. People of color, the obese, Muslims and lesbians are all trucked out to be displayed as brave, heroic, or innocent, victimized by insane white men, and systemic racism.
It was a joyless read, similar to 'Sleeping Beauties'. I'm disappointed and hope Mr. Hill will move away from the virtue signaling and back towards quality fiction.