Waylines #5, September 2013

Waylines #5, September 2013

Reviewed in this issue are:

“Cadence” by Samantha Kymmell-Harvey
“The Elevator Man” by David Halpert

This issue seems to have been published prior to undergoing the tender mercies of a copy editor. Hopefully, this is not Waylines’ “new normal.”

Revolutionaries Laszlo and his brother, Nik, have a plan to assassinate an evil Emperor, Franz Josef, by luring him to “Buda Pest” to hear a rusalka sing. To that end, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey gives us “Cadence.” Cilka, the rusalka, is a siren, her voice deadly to hear. But Laszlo is deaf, therefore immune to the siren’s song. He performs a surgery that “filters” Cilka’s voice. The plan is to train her singing voice and remove the filter before a special performance for the Emperor. However, Nik is more militant than Laszlo. When Nik invites the Emperor’s soldiers to hear Cilka as a prelude to getting the Emperor to attend, he discovers that Laszlo has fallen in love with the rusalka. This does not bode well for Nik’s plans for freedom. That a deaf man, one who is not even medically trained, can successfully filter a siren’s voice challenges suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, the story hinges on that unbelievable event.

Mayor Jeremy Hopkins, the protagonist of David Halpert’s “The Elevator Man” feels his face flush—a lot. Living underground after an apocalypse that destroyed the planet’s surface, fifty thousand residents are dependent on elevators to transport them from one place to another. At 9:13 on the morning of October 13, 2153, the elevators stop working, creating worldwide panic. Calling an emergency planning meeting, Hopkins is informed that the person he most hates in the world, Jeremy Mahoney, wants to speak with him. Reluctantly, Hopkins agrees. The two men meet, and Mahoney explains that the elevators have stopped themselves on purpose, and appointed him their spokesman. Hopkins agrees to meet with Mahoney, but isn’t satisfied with what he hears. After dealing with the crisis, Hopkins learns for himself what Mahoney tried to tell him. This piece seems to have suffered the brunt of copyediting neglect. The numerous errors are jarring and detract from what might have been a decent story.

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

Comments are closed.

Scroll To Top