Jason Sanford. Here We Are, Falling Through Shadows. (Interzone #225 Nov/Dec 2009).

I’ve been remiss in hunting down Interzone of late, not helped by Fictionwise not flagging it up as clearly as it might do. So what of the first story in this issue, read on my iTouch?

Sanford is now an Interzone regular, with a couple of his stories being of the highest standard – ‘The Ships Like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain’ being the standout, followed by ‘When Thorns Are The Tips of Trees’ spring to mind. The story in hand is similar to the latter, in theme and setting, with humanity battling against dark forces. Here he postulates very alien creatures, threatening us from our shadows, through which they are able to reach our world, and take humans back with them. The process of going through the dark, narrow slashes in our reality, through which glimpses of their very strange world can be seen, is a harrowing one to witness.

A firefighter who has lost his wife to the aliens is horrified to find his daughter following a fashion amongst some, to be attracted to the aliens. Worse still, it appears that his wife has returned in her new guise, and is tempting their daughter to join her on the other side of the shadow.

In rescuing people from a fire, he himself is pulled into the shadows, and is fully able to understand the total alieness of those on the other side, the subjugation of self necessary to join them – to become one with them – and it is a future that he is not able to embrace, even with both his wife and his daughter on the other side. Another good story from Sandford, to add to his growing IZ ouvre.

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