Farrago’s Wainscot #14, April 2015

Farrago’s Wainscot #14, April 2015

Reviewed in this issue are:

“All Her Buzzing Eyes” by Willow Fagan
“Dance Our Shoes to Pieces” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
“Every Hand a Winner” by Romie Stott
“The Days of Talking Mountains” by Paul Jessup

Willow Fagan’s “All Her Buzzing Eyes” is science fiction Shakespeariana—a retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view. In this version, Ophelia, called Ophie, is a cyborg whose face hides a myriad of circuits, including her nonbiological eye which sees everything. Those who enjoy their Shakespeare with a patina of weird will enjoy the tale.

“Dance Our Shoes to Pieces” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam is a retelling of the German fairy tale originally published by the Brothers Grimm, “The Shoes that Were Danced Through,” and begins with an introductory quote from that story. This tale of what the remaining eleven sisters do after the eldest of the dozen is married off to the soldier who uncovers their dancing secret is tepid and not as weird as it could be.

The two unnamed characters in Romie Stott’s “Every Hand a Winner” are an interviewer and interviewee discussing an invisible, haunted deck of cards, how one of the parties found it, and what the finder did with it. This dialogue-driven story is very much talking heads in a white room.

Alice and her brother, Gerard, are the last two humans in Paul Jessup’s “The Days of Talking Mountains.” They raise giants on a farm near the titular large landforms, and disagree about whether, and how they’re supposed to keep promises made to their now-dead family. This story is just weird enough to be pleasantly discomfiting.

A version of this review appears on the Tangent Online website.

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