Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Catalog of Virgins, by Nicoletta Vallorani

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(SF Horror) As Nigredo, discovered observing, flees from a torture chamber, we learn about girls who were sold to men who tortured them to death. (2,723 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (translated by Rachel S. Cordasco, edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 134, published on .

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

Pro: There are a lot of elements for a story here involving girls who are tailor-made for use by abusive men. The connection with the Bluebeard story is tantalizing, and there’s probably a message under it all.

Con: It’s extremely confusing. What did Nigredo end up doing at the end? Who was Yuri? Were the girls clones? Why did they need to be raped before they were delivered?

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Hi. I can see your point, and you're right. The story is in fact an excerpt from a novel, so many details are, as you say, not fully understandable. But I'm proud the story was published, and very grateful for this. Thanks for your comment :-) nicoletta v.

    1. Ah, I didn't notice that. I'm seeing a lot of that, lately; novel excerpts that don't really stand alone.

      Maybe they serve their purpose; I've bought at least two novels on the basis of such stories, even though I only gave the excerpts 3 stars. The characters and settings were interesting, and I wanted to know how it all came out. But it's hard to recommend them as short fiction.

      As for your story in particular, I seem to have a stronger aversion than most to tales of abuse, so I won't be looking for it, but others will doubtless feel differently. Best of luck with it, and thanks for taking the time to comment here!

  2. Well, now I feel better about being so confused.

    Somewhat intriguing blend of science fiction and fairy tale retelling. But too brutal for me and too much left unexplained.