Defusing the Familiar, Mining the Odd


THE FAERIE ENGINE by Alexander Glass

“…the forest ticked like a clock.”

An apotheosis of an apotheosis, almost or tantalisingly so, as the previous story’s ‘augmentations’ as well as ‘memory sequestrations’ lead here to a potentially classic fantasy as traditional form, a poignant story, as dream reality, generating like an engine or snarling broth-pot too much truth, and this fact somehow complementing my long held belief that fiction is the only truth left to us. This story is prehensile with time and human age, a woman who now has a husband and young daughter, years ago as a girl herself visited by the Borderlander and his need for three mirrors to be gutted free from weeds, now for help with the engine of this story itself. She older, he still young. And now he needs her daughter to help instead, we gradually realise. This is so heady a work I feel intoxicated with it. And it’s still working away. With, inter alia, cold iron and a toe stopper … and its owl’s back to where?


THE SOUL DOCTORS by Alexander Glass

“It’s like trying to service an engine while it’s still running.”

Ticking over, or empty high heels when “The clock had stopped.” From ‘toe stopper’ to ‘open toe’, this novelette is an ingenious and page-turning (with several well-characterised characters) ‘Crimewave’ fiction plot yet with Interzone ‘shiftcrimes’, a matching of ‘seeded’ parallel worlds BOTH to optimise a roulette wheel in a Twin Peaks playing-card type casino (the metaphorical version of roulette involving a gun’s empty and full bullet chambers, too!), AND to transcend, here, the dialogue’s otherwise info-dumps about Plato etc. regarding the nature of human souls, such a matter involving the holy trinity to obviate too much mercy in mercenary Gap War soldiers as well as the actual bodily anatomical surgery of the souls themselves…OR to somehow, by preternatural means, give some meaning to gestalt real-time reviewing… “Over time, you can trace patterns in the pathways — nothing is truly random. It’s very beautiful.” A wholly just luck defusing the familiar but mining the odd.


Full Interzone context of above:

One thought on “Defusing the Familiar, Mining the Odd

  1. “…he stored the ‘Injun’ away for later.”

    Please compare, in this our Engine Summer, the Borderlander in The Faerie Engine with the Injun and ‘A buyer across the borders’ in The Soul Doctors, and its ‘souljacking’..

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