Tor.com, October 2017
“Crispin’s Model” by Max Gladstone
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
Two very different stories set in New York City appear in the electronic pages of Tor.com this month.
The narrator of “Crispin’s Model” by Max Gladstone is an aspiring playwright who works as an artist’s model to support herself. She accepts an offer to pose for a painter who claims to see what lies beyond the surface. His paintings have a strange, powerful effect on the viewer even when observed in partial light. Displayed in full light, the result is apocalyptic. This story combines a modern narrative style with classic themes of horror. It is likely to appeal to fans of H. P. Lovecraft.
“The Future of Hunger in the Age of Programmable Matter” by Sam J. Miller takes place in the near future. Nanotechology creates a polymer that users can transform into almost any shape, leading to unforeseen consequences. The speculative element, although dramatic and thought provoking, serves as a background for a tale of love, jealousy, addiction, and betrayal. Readers should be aware that this powerful story contains some strong sexual content.
Victoria Silverwolf thinks that Hallowe’en should always be spelled with an apostrophe.