Review of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand

See the Elephant review of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Handby Paul St. John Mackintosh

A Folk Rock Frightener in England

Elizabeth Hand, a prize-winning New York-born author who lives in Maine, has produced one of the best English mystery tales for many a day. “It began as a riff on Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca,” she has said elsewhere, and the riff developed into a mesmerizing original composition with, as it happens, a strong musical theme.

The story is pieced together, rockumentary style, out of retrospective accounts from former members, followers, and associates of a seminal Seventies folk-rock band, Windhollow Faire, creators of a single classic album, Wylding Hall, recorded at the house of the same name, “a beautiful old wreck of a stately home in the English countryside,” during one enchanted – and ultimately deadly – summer. “Inexplicable and terrible – things are always good for the music business,” as onetime manager Tom Haring says of what transpires. A legend is born – or reborn, as links to earlier English myths reveal. Read more »

Cabinet of Wonders: Menagerie of Weird Creatures

Cabinet of Curiosities with birdsweb fiction reviews by Lauren Colie

Open the door into a menagerie for this week’s Cabinet. Strange beings and strange people populate the shelves, each a curio for us to consider. There are questions about ethics, character and love wrapped up in bizarre, two-headed and three-footed packages. Don’t forget: there’s always more than meets the eye.

A Review of “The Springwood Shelter for Genetically Modified Animals,” by Verity Lane at Crossed Genres

They were in another corridor, but this one was lined not with doors, but with glass. On both sides there were pens holding more kinds of animals than Mel had ever seen in real life. The only animals Mel usually saw were the ubiquitous AdPigeons with their colourful, commercial wings. But here there were all the animals she’d only seen on screens.

Lions, tigers and genetically-modified polar bears, oh my! Read more »

Up the Fire Road (part two), fiction by Eileen Gunn

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“Was I on some kind of strange drug? Was I in the woods at all? Was I at my mom’s house, and having some kind of a psychotic episode?”

Up the Fire Road, illstration of fiction by Eileen Gunn for See the Elephant Magazine

Up the Fire Road, collage by Sophia Hermes

Read PART ONE of “Up the Fire Road” HERE.

 

Andrea

Mickey wasn’t bad in bed. He was younger than I had thought, and he gave good head. He was a lot gentler than Christy, too. Christy likes it kind of rough and fast. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but Mickey was a gentleman, and quite attractive in a way. Kind of hairy, though. Some guys are just, like, bears if they don’t wax it all off, but I’d never slept with a guy who was as hairy as Mickey.

So he was talking afterward, real quiet, the way some guys do, just trying to find out a little about you, and maybe trying to impress you a bit with who they are. He mentioned this workshop that he had. To hear him tell it, he could make anything he wanted, which I guess explains about the bowls and the cups. Well, what he said was “it” could make anything he needed, but he was a little vague about what “it” was. Didn’t trust me, I guess. But he said he’d bring me something nice, something that was useful. I wondered what he meant, because if he could have anything he needed, why would he be living in a cave? Read more »

Up the Fire Road (part one), fiction by Eileen Gunn

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“If life seems slow and meaningless, go somewhere where you depend on Christy to get you back.”

(“Up the Fire Road” originally appeared in Eclipse One.)

Up the Fire Road, illstration of fiction by Eileen Gunn for See the Elephant Magazine

Up the Fire Road, collage by Sophia Hermes

Andrea

The main thing to understand about Christy O’Hare is he hates being bored. Complicated is interesting, simple is dull, so he likes to make things complicated.

Used to be the complications were more under his control. Like one time he went down to Broadway for coffee, but the coffee place was closed. So he hitched a ride downtown, but the driver was headed for Olympia on I-5, so Christy figured he’ll go along for the ride and get his coffee at that place in Oly that has the great huevos. He ended up thumbing to San Francisco and coming back a week later with a tattoo and a hundred bucks he didn’t have when he left home. I think he was more interested in doing something that would make a good story than he was in getting a cup of coffee. But I did wonder where the hell he was.

He’s not a bad guy. I don’t agree with what my mother said about him being a selfish son-of-a-bitch. But Christy is the star of his own movie, and it’s an action flick. If life is dull, just hook up with him for a while. And if life seems slow and meaningless, go somewhere where you depend on him to get you back. Read more »

Cabinet of Wonders: Cons, Scabs and Swarms

Cabinet of Wonders, Baja California, Metaphysical Circus Press

Cabinet of Wonders, Baja California by Sophia Hermes

web fiction reviews by Lauren Colie

Wide open skies, sprawling Western states and the tippy-top of the atmosphere. Here, we can spend time wondering who we are — this week, we’re taking field trips. Run across plains, climb mountains, soar skyward, abandon work and embark on a Kerouacian exploration of self and society. Let the Weird introduce you to the wonderful.

 

A Review of Everybody’s Bluffing, by Miles Klee at Electric Literature

Found it took your average sober man not long to pick up something queer about us, at which point he was apt to fight. It didn’t ever make sense, what they said, the reasons they came up with. Two pubs tossed us because of Lionel’s scarf (it was “swishy”), and one hotel manager said a guest complained that a man of “guttering respiration” had lurked outside her door. Read more »