Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Second Skin, by Pip Coen

★★★☆☆ Average

(Fantasy Horror) Against his better judgment, Mr. Musil takes a voiceless teen girl as apprentice on his farm. It turns out she has a special gift, but it’s not for farm work. (4,236 words; Time: 14m)

"Second Skin," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.286 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: From the framing story, we know that Saskia’s gift was something that messed with people’s minds, but the basic plot of the story is figuring out exactly what that is. It’s helpful to have that up front, since otherwise people’s behavior would break suspension of disbelief rather than creating a steadily rising sense of horror, rising to a climax in the next-to-last paragraph.

Con: We never really get to know Oliver, so his death doesn’t move us. Because of the nature of Saskia’s gift, it’s not clear whether we really get to know any of the other characters either.

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