A fearless faith in fiction — Employing, since 2008, a Kantian or Jungian sensibility and an ‘intentional fallacy’ consciousness — Various passions of the reading moment — Walter de la Mare, ELizabeth BOWen, ROBERT aiCKMAN and many others old and new — Please click my name below for this site’s navigation and my backstory as intermittent photographer, writer, editor, publisher & reviewer.
LOOKING FOR LAIKA by Laura Mauro
“Pete had always thought the end of the world would be a lot louder.”
A truly limpid tale of a five year old girl, naive with wonder at the bespoke fabrications of fiction concocted by her 13 year old half-brother, while they are on holiday on a caravan site with their shared grandparents. This is potentially a classic SF tale evolving before you, as you tie together your hidden knowledge of the boy’s panic attacks with her constructive gullibility, and how Cyrillic became a way of getting to the very bone of all our fears and hopes, and quaint gullibility beyond the stars and beyond mankind’s misdeeds. If I told you more, it would spoil it.
Looking for Laura
Artwork by Richard Wagner (section)
The Mauro cross-referenced here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/age-of-blight-kristine-ong-muslim/#comment-13659
My previous review above: “…our fears and hopes, and quaint gullibility beyond the stars and beyond mankind’s misdeeds.” But now have they already reached beyond, instead of waiting? Milton said they also serve who only stand and wait … and wait.
AFTER THE TITANS by Rachael Cupp
“The spirits are everywhere, and there is one born this moment, very rare and very splendid, which lives only in this kiss.”
I tchah at the need above for ‘very’ in each instance of meaning, but it’s more beautiful to hear read aloud with ‘very’ reinstated. In fact this whole work is a lingering poetic nebulosity of spirits, gods, narrative youngmother becoming oldmother, Vine the Shepherd, Little Flute, Beetle, titans and, I assume, humans, and the interactions between such entities. Better read aloud or told to self within? I would need to read it again, this time aloud. And as you know, all my real-time reviews are based on my first reading of a work.
“This is how to bleed the fruit.”
“I am cursed. I am cursed to have caused these things.”
“Wait and wait and wait and wait.”
A potentially relevant reference to my coincidentally concurrent real-time review, KA by John Crowley, and the nature of humans through language and reaction (in Crowley, crows as overseeing gods)?
FULLY AUTOMATED NOSTALGIA CAPITALISM by Dan Grace
“How can we have anything and we choose this?”
For me, a telling SF portrait of Brexit (sorry, I am obsessed), “the country had spoken”, where gestalt ‘might’ becomes granular ‘mite’. Still, it’s intriguing enough to put both sides of nostalgia, health & safety and self-frying fries in salt. E-numbers and mites. Also links for me with the chipped-beige Brexited Wetherspoons and casual relationships and ‘mnemonic rape’ of the Humphrey story I reviewed here earlier today in the concurrent Black Static, in fact so far generally co-resonating the fiction in both magazines… they also serve who only stand and wait. Happy Meals, notwithstanding.
THE BIG SO-SO by Erica L. Satifka
“It was a bad day, even if I did live in Utopia.”
A so-so Brexit (I attempted to make the aliens a symbol for the promise of Brexit, an imputed brainwashing that caused it, and the symbol worked, almost, so far. What do you think?)
Meanwhile, a strong tale in itself (more subtle and tantalising than I can give justice to here) of Earth invasion by aliens who sift us by various means of brain examination as a guide to our pecking-order of usage to them, and of pleasure-juice leading to an eventual realisation or outcome, all told via the story of feisty Dorcas in rebellion and trying to co-opt the pleasure-juice from the aliens, told by her friend as narrator, a woman who is asked whether she loves Dorcas…. And a dysphonic band that I am glad I did not hear! And ravelling and unravelling, by the way, mean the same thing. Themes from Laika and Titans and Nostalgia Capitalism in telling backdrop.
THE GARDEN OF EATING by R. Boyczuk
“From within Snake’s mouth a little Snake emerged.”
An intriguing world for me of today’s news of Zimbugabe in “regime change”, also “state sponsored terrorism”, scarce resources side by side with tutored ‘imaginings’ or realities of a land of plenty, where the eternal Eden myth is still played out, a Garden of Eating as an assonance of Eden and Brexiteers’ Playground of Eton, where Boris spies hid in plain sight, surrounded by a maze of niches, subways, hidden coves to other lands good and bad, an adventure with ‘weapons of mass instruction’ as well as real fiery ones, as deployment of this allegory – a world that stands alone, too, as a striking non-didactic SF vision, where things ARE and called by and called as their Proper Names, even the author Boyczuk (Czar Uk) as ‘Boy’ the central character in ambiguous interaction with his Garden’s equivalent to Eve called Amerigun. Atom and Rib in the myth. I am still thinking about this work as it rolls on beyond its ending perhaps forever.
Above section of this edition’s cover artwork is called 417h3r105 v6 by Dave Senecal. Not a Proper Name but a password to be entered in Google?
JAMES WHITE AWARD WINNING STORY: ‘The Morrigan’ by Stewart Horn.
Being published in Interzone as one of the prizes of being chosen as the winner by an International panel of judges. I am afraid this story had a certain style that I could not get past. Obviously, my fault. Seemed to be about gang warfare in Glasgow.
There is much else in Interzone to interest the SF enthusiast in addition to its fiction.