Strange Horizons -- May 6, 2019

Thursday, 09 May 2019 18:47 Victoria Silverwolf

Strange Horizons, May 6, 2019

"Sublet" by Ian Kappos

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The narrator of "Sublet" tells the reader, in several short sections of prose with brief, descriptive titles, about the Room Where My Friends Die. This is located in another apartment, which should not exist, above the attic of the narrator's apartment. The bodies of acquaintances show up there at the time of death. A man comes to the apartment, hoping to find out if a missing person is dead or alive. The narrator makes his own investigation of the Room, leading to a bizarre ending.

This brief synopsis makes the story sound far more straightforward and coherent than it is. The numerous short sections have an impressionistic effect. Several small, unexplained details create a surrealistic mood. There are indications that the narrator, who has been in rehab and has had a therapist, is mentally ill. Thus, it is difficult to tell what is real and what is illusory. The author creates a fine sense of eeriness, but fails to communicate clearly with the reader.

Victoria Silverwolf got a tax refund this week.