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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Strange Horizons -- September 10, 2018

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Strange Horizons, September 10, 2018

"Mountaineering" by Leah Bobet

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

Two teenage brothers climb a mountain in "Mountaineering" by Leah Bobet. It soon becomes clear that one of them is a ghost. They grew up loving books and films about explorers, and that shared passion continues after the elder brother dies. The author writes in a vivid style full of metaphors, but the meaning is not always clear. The phrase "You have never been unusued to the notion that you would not be rescued," for example, requires multiple readings to make sense of its triple negative. This brief story is rich with emotion and sensory detail, but has little plot. It works best as a mood piece.


Victoria Silverwolf lives on a hill, not a mountain.