We have original fiction from Nibedita Sen (“Leviathan Sings to Me in the Deep”) and Adam-Troy Castro (“Red Rain”), along with reprints by Seth Fried (“Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre”) and Priya Sharma (“The Anatomist’s Mnemonic”). Lucy Taylor discusses body horror in the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word.” Plus we have author spotlights with our authors, and a review of box office monster The Quiet Place.
In This Issue: June 2018 (Issue 69)
Be sure to check out the editorial for a rundown of this month’s content and for all our updates.
3 Harvest: Arcon Glass came to dinner in my cabin tonight. A rarity; he has declined all previous invitations on pretext of work. Over dessert, First Mate Law asked him if the Guild of Natural Philosophers’ purpose in sponsoring this voyage is to research a solution to the overfishing of the whale-routes. Law has been my First Mate for a decade now and I bear the man a great affection, but he has a dockhand’s lack of tact for all that he wears an officer’s badge. Glass did not seem offended by the directness of the question, and answered that it was exactly as we had surmised.
Last year, the people in charge of the picnic blew us up. Every year it gets worse. That is, more people die. The Frost Mountain Picnic has always been a matter of uncertainty in our town, and the massacre is the worst part. Even the people whose picnic blankets were not laid out directly upon the bomb line were knocked unconscious by the airborne limbs of their neighbors, or at least had the black earth at the foot of Frost Mountain driven under their eyelids and fingernails and up into their sinuses.
Years ago, while studying Buddhism in college, I came across the Tibetan practice of sky burial, where the corpse is chopped into pieces and left out in the open for the vultures. Monks gather around the remains to meditate upon death, aided by the grisly reality of a human body reduced to it essential components. I found this fascinating. Still do. Bravo to those stalwart monks watching the vultures dip their red beaks into the human goulash. Whether it’s a spectacle I’d want to witness myself, though, is another matter.
Have you ever found yourself on a midtown sidewalk on some warm July day when a plummeting body splattered on the pavement, directly in front of you? Close enough to feel the explosive shockwave of hot liquid air, pelting your trousers with meat pellets the size of quarters? Have you ever staggered backward, sodden with gore and spitting out substances you could not stand to identify, half-blinded because some of it got in your eyes, the screams of other pedestrians rising all around you, the smell of blood and shit hitting like a second assault almost as bad as the first?
Samuel Wilson’s life wasn’t a search for love at every turn. There’d been girls he’d liked, with whom he’d managed fragile love affairs, but something was always lacking no matter how hard he tried. Something that failed to ignite. Sam knew what it was. He knew that love and objectification weren’t the same but he had a passion for hands. His arousal in every organ, the mind, the skin, the parts he’d once been told were made for sin, depended on the wrists, the palms, the fingertips.
This month Adam-Troy Castro reviews horror hit A Quiet Place.