Strange Horizons, 5 June 2006

Note: This post was imported from an old content-management system, so please excuse any inconsistencies in formatting.

“Fourteen Experiments in Postal Delivery” by John Schoffstall

John Schoffstall’s story, "Fourteen Experiments in Postal Delivery," is a series of hilarious letters from a woman scorned.  She pours her wrath out against her cheating lover, who sends an ever increasing catalogue of bizarre gifts in an attempt to regain her favour.  Not only does he push his luck, he pushes the postal service to the brink as he sends her the wildly improbable and the physically impossible.

It’s hard to define the finest point of this story: When the protagonist and her sister have an emotional confrontation inside Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, or when she refuses to take delivery of Spain.  Or is it when he posts her the bar they used to hang out in, or the efficient delivery of his still-operational genitals?

Schoffstall slowly builds his well-structured tale from a wry beginning and sends it soaring into an irreverent and joyous slipstream.  It is an absolutely delightful read and clever without needing to be too cute.  It is good to see Strange Horizons revert to formula, once again featuring some of the best, quirky SF/Romance/Angst on the net.