Strange Horizons, June 15, 2020

Strange Horizons, June 15, 2020

“Glass Frog” by Remy Reed Pincumbe

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The narrator of “Glass Frog” by Remy Reed Pincumbe enters a haunted house with four other people. Among the many strange events that occur, all of them except the narrator confront duplicates of themselves, leading to a bloody battle for survival.

Alternating with the main narrative are multiple flashbacks to the narrator’s relationship with the others, from childhood to adulthood. These indicate that they hardly noticed her existence.

The author conveys the feeling of being an outsider effectively, using the theme of being the only one without a duplicate as a powerful metaphor for loneliness. Other aspects of the story are more difficult to interpret, such as a room full of entangled musical instruments and a living man made out of wood.

Several times the narrator stops to offer the reader three choices for what she might do during a crisis. These may indicate the narrator’s ambivalence, but they seem more like a gimmick.

Victoria Silverwolf wrote a story about a haunted house in elementary school.