Elizabeth Bear. Swell. (Eclipse 3).

After a concert at a local club, a young musician gives a lift home to a young blind woman. Waking up the next morning, she realises that something was ot quite right, and heading back to the house where she dropped off the blind woman, she finds herself heading out to the woods, and ends up in a subterranean sapphic clinch with the siren.

She’s left with a gift – a voice of her own, which she complements with a guitar made by the deaf craftsman who has for many years helped those who have followed the siren’s call.

According to Bear’s website the story is evidently set ‘in the same one-step-sideways universe of “Your Collar” and “Orm the Beautiful”‘, stories with which I’m not familiar with.

The fifth story in this volume, and the fifth story with a contemporary setting, more speculative than sfnal or fantasy, and with a female protagonist. Nothing wrong with any of those things, of course, but the volume is feeling somewhat samey so far.

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