Monday, April 6, 2020

The Touch Pool, by Lisa Nan Joo

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[Strange Horizons]

(Horror) A mermaid visits a woman whose house is about the be claimed by the rising seas and who mourns the loss of her daughter. (3,395 words; Time: 11m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 03/16/20, published on .

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

Review: 2020.170 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: There are lots of great elements to this story: the mermaid, the rising sea, the old house, the beloved relative, the missing daughter, etc. Emma is trying to come to terms with her grief enough that she can continue with her life, and that’s ultimately what the story is about.

Con: It doesn’t come together into a coherent story. The mermaid (or whatever it is) doesn’t seem to serve much purpose; it visits a few times and then leaves. Drop that out, and this isn’t even speculative fiction.

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