Strange Horizons, December 20, 2021

[On May 10, 2021 Strange Horizons officially expressed its political support for Palestinian solidarity. The views of Tangent Online reviewers are not necessarily those of Strange Horizons. Fiction critiqued at Tangent Online is, as much as is humanly possible, without prejudice and based solely on artistic merit.]

Strange Horizons, December 20, 2021

“Blood We Cannot Wash Away” by Karina Ko

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The narrator of “Blood We Cannot Wash Away” by Karina Ko suffers from a disfiguring disease. Her daughter cares for her, which includes bringing people to be eaten by her mother.

I have offered only a very brief synopsis of this impressionistic horror story, because it is much more of a mood piece than a plot-driven work. The author creates an effective sense of visceral terror, contrasting strongly with the affection between mother and daughter. This eerie tale is often confusing. As an example, the daughter tells a story to her mother that resembles a twisted version of “Hansel and Gretel.” This seems to somehow parallel a boy and girl that the daughter brings to her mother, but this is not completely clear.

Victoria Silverwolf had a mouse running around the living room today.