Steve Rasnic Tem. Visitors. (Asimovs, January 2011).

An elderly couple are on a trip they make every five years – to Phoenix Sanctuary, where people (and pets) are kept ‘suspended’ whilst cures for their ailments are found. Except that in their case, the son whom they are visiting has a condition that is proving problematic.

The focus on the elderly woman is the successful element of the story, her response to her similarly aged husband, to her son (brought back from suspension in a slightly macabre format) and to her surroundings. Slightly less successful is the central conceit, which strains a little too hard for effect, and perhaps could be have been subtler.

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