Last week I posted a review of the autistic stories in Defying Doomsday. I listed Seanan McGuire’s “Something in the Rain” as one of these stories, saying that its protagonist was autistic and schizophrenic.
Seanan McGuire very politely corrected me on Twitter and said that the protagonist has OCD (which Seanan shares), not autism.
I was mortified to have gotten it wrong and quickly fixed the post, crossing out the text of that review. I couldn’t believe I had been so sure that autism was there in the story when it wasn’t.
A commenter pointed out, a few days later, that the text of “Something in the Rain” does explicitly say the protagonist was autistic. I looked back into my copy and found that this is, in fact, the case:
I didn’t have a muscular disorder; physically, there was nothing about me that deviated from what was considered “normal” for a seventeen-year-old girl. I had mild schizophrenia, for which I was medicated, and autism, for which I was not medicated, but that only changed the way I thought, not the way I moved.
I’m not sure exactly what happened here, but probably Seanan misremembered by accident. (Which is ok! There are many reasons why a busy and prolific author might misremember details of some of their stories.)
However, I think it’s more important to respond to what a story actually says than what the author says about it, so I’m going to be restoring the review to its original condition, restoring the protagonist to the list of autistic protagonists, and putting a link in to this post as explanation.
Apologies for any confusion over this one.