Sitting down to write this review, the word ‘unsettling’ sprang to mind as the adjective best describing this story, and then a little connection was made in the cranial matter and I check for any previous stories by Robson, and found that in her only previous story of hers that I have, the adjective of choice was ‘challenging’. So, good to see a new writer with the writerly cojones to push the envelope in their writing.
Robson doesn’t explain much, if anything. She sets up a near future society which is strictly delineated by what is in effect a caste system, and the protagonist is low down the societal ladder, being merely a ‘two-year man’. His janitorial job doesn’t have any prospects, but a few perks now and then, and the story, which reminded me of David Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead’ a little in tone, looks at what happens when he smuggles something back home to his partner. Normally it’s a half-eaten sandwhich or the like left over from lunch by a higher status employee in the office block he looks after, but this time…..
(Well, if you must know and don’t mind a spoilder, it’s a ‘baby’ he rescues from the basement, one destined for the incinerator, and his wife isn’t best pleased with this, especially as it’s not entirely human….
More from this issue here.