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

Strange Horizons -- June 10, 2019

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Strange Horizons, June 10, 2019

Gephyrophobia” by Rykie Belles

Reviewed by Jody Dorsett

Every person has heard the term “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” It usually implies that there is the possibility of something bad happening which requires our action. One of the reasons I don’t like the drive from Northeast Ohio to Charlotte is that the short cut of US 19 takes one over the New River Gorge Bridge. It’s the longest single span bridge in North America and it’s 876 feet above the river. I always debate whether to go over it or spend an extra hour on the road.

Such is the case with the two characters in this short story. Sam and Becky were young children when they experienced a very traumatic escape experience. So traumatic that every year they contact each other on the anniversary, which happens to be Halloween. We know that something happened and that it involved a “her” that is clearly not a good being.

The characterization is compelling and without knowing exactly what happened we know the very real fear and desires of the two characters. A story worth your time to read and to ponder on.

Finally, this story is a very good homage to a play that every person versed in the arts should have read or attended at least once.