VINES by Daniel Bennett


‘A-K AB-AT’ 

This is, for me, a thoughtfully lingering dystopia or would-be utopia, possibly both or neither! Beautifully and sinuously – and sluggishly like the vines themselves – conjuring up various optimisations of life as a Gaia or Gestalt, where the various blights, such as avian flu, a civil war, the death blogger and now the vines as triffids, implicate the people and the jobs of work the people do as the result of being factored into some algorithmic lottery … evolving into an installation of found art like a White Ship that inadvertently acted, for me, in mutual,synergy with Denton Welch’s pervasive white elephant in a story I reviewed in the last few days here. All of this effectively told through the relationship of the narrator and his wife Dolores. And the chance creative ricochets between what they were opted to do and what they were actually  suited to doing. I wondered who is meant to fill in the dashes, if not the author or reader as part of their their own ‘work lottery’ in creating the narrator’s vision. The Biblical fact of Noah bringing vines into his ark, as well as animals, is my trial algorithm toward a divine gestalt. (Not forgetting AN ISLAND FOR LOST ASTRONAUTS  by the same author reviewed here, as his own prior algorithms.)


This story is newly available in INTERZONE DIGITAL.

My previous reviews of Daniel Bennett:

My previous reviews of Interzone:

My ongoing reviews of single stories by living authors:

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