Mercurio D. Rivera. In the Harsh Glow of its Incandescent Beauty. (Interzone #226 Jan-Feb 2010).

Set in the same world as ‘Longing for Langalana’ from Interzone, which won the readers poll for 2006, and which got my approval. This is slightly less successful – featuring a human relationship, rather than an intra-species one. There’s a tug of love over a woman, who has fled her husband for the moon Titan, with her husband’s ex-colleage. The wronged husband is the protagonist, with two alien Wegen in tow (the race is far advanced than we are, but they struggle to understand our concept of marriage, and this pair have to have explained what the stubble on his face is). He believes his wife to have been drugged by his ex-colleague, who has used the research they were involved in together to get her to fall in love with him. There’s an overly simple confrontation, and some of the writing jars at times ( ‘I searched for Miranda’s visage amongst them, to no avail’), and whilst the twist in the tale makes up for some of that, I’m guessing this won’t top the readers poll for 2010.

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