Strange Horizons, July 19, 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, July 19, 2021

The Cataloguer of Deceit” by Ian Rosales Casocot

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The main character in “The Cataloguer of Deceit” by Ian Rosales Casocot is a woman who has kept herself alive for nearly one and one-half centuries by recording the misdeeds of herself and others. This supernatural form of immortality does not prevent her from suffering the ravages of extreme old age, and also comes with the cost of losing precious memories. She does something very unexpected with her notebooks full of sins, leading to a confrontation with her past.

This quiet fantasy has the feeling of magic realism. The calm narrative style draws the reader into its subtly strange world. Some readers may find the story overly long for a fairly simple plot. There are a few fantastic elements, such as a plant that changes color depending on one’s mood, that seem out of place in a tale with only one important speculative premise.

Victoria Silverwolf had a crown fall off one of her teeth recently.