SCI FICTION, Sept. 7, 2005

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"Parallax" by Laird Barron                            

In this week’s SCI FICTION, Laird Barron gives us a strange tale of love, murder, and alternate timelines in "Parallax."  This is the tale of Jack and Miranda.  Jack is a highly successful artist, and Miranda is his missing wife.  Jack was tried for her murder, but the fact that one of the investigating officers once dated Miranda hurt the prosecution’s case, and he was never convicted.  Now he tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, still shadowed by the former cop who dated his beloved wife.  Did the cop kill her? Or does the answer lie in Jack’s occasional migraines?

For the reader who wants answers, there are none here.  Instead, the reader gets carried through an intriguing character study on the back of Barron’s meticulous and beautiful prose.  We feel Jack’s love for Miranda through several flashbacks, and witness his despair in his day-to-day dealings.  The ruined cop, Marchland, and his partner, Fisher, are significantly pathetic and creepy, and the ending is one you won’t see coming.