Christien Gholson. Tribute. (Interzone #256, Jan/Feb 2015)

interzone256A story of a type that frustrates me. Gholson has a go at creating a totally alien environment, and in the first section succeeds well, with a creature living on dusty plains, opening the serrated edge of it’s mantle to the sun, a shell-like creature living in the sun and the dust.

Then the story progresses with references to very non-alien activities and social structures, as we find in the very first paragraph of section 2, where the aforementioned creature is found to be a historian ‘poring through the stacks’, there are stone busts of saints, there’s a chancellor, and a councillor and so forth. This sits awkwardly with the rest of the story where the alienness is maintained.

It’s a tricky one, as a story that is totally alien throughout will struggle to engage the human reader (I’m guessing not even Interzone has readers with serrated mantles).

More from this issue here.

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