Monday, September 12, 2016

Under One Roof, by Sarah Pinsker

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(Horror) When newlyweds Courtney and Josh rent an old Victorian in Baltimore, they're told to stay out of the attic. But they hear noises up there at night. Footsteps. (5,564 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended

It's debatable whether to call this horror or low fantasy.

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 12, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Courtney and Josh have a beautiful relationship, and the details of their interactions are the biggest pleasure of this story. It's very amusing when Josh pretends to worry that his wife is a vampire and frets that his parents are expecting grandkids and "they'll want to play with them in the daytime."

A theme that repeats is how you learn things about people that you hadn't known. So Courtney is surprised that Josh is willing to break into the attic, but Josh is surprised that Courtney is willing to experiment by throwing the little boy out the window. It's worth a snort that Josh quits talking about them having kids after that.

On a different level, you can read the story as a statement about the past. The attic is a concrete metaphor for the way memory often works. You can visit the contents whenever you want, but you can't take them with you, and it's unhealthy to spend too much time there.

Con: The resolution is a bit weak. "Okay, we figured it out. Now we'll just work with it."

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 12)
Sarah Pinsker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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