Ian R. MacLeod. Recrossing the Styx. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2010)

Very dark, top quality macabre humour from MacLeod.

The Glorious Nomad is a massive, nuclear-powered cruise liner, taking its rich, elderly passengers for tours around the Mediterranean. However, many of the passengers are not only rich and elderly, but technically quite dead – rejuve therapy and replacement body parts enabling them to live on, with carers with whom they have a very close relationship. Resident tour host Frank Onions finds his monotous life enervated by the appearance of one carer – a very, very glamorous blonde, pushing her very, very elderly, and very, very rich husband around the decks. Can he possibly find a way for the two to be together?

There is a way, a ghastly way, and whilst Frank gets what he wanted, its very much the case that his love gets what she wants, and for him there is a high price to pay.

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