Strange Horizons — September 3, 2018

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Strange Horizons, September 3, 2018

“Seedlings” by Audrey R. Hollis

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

“Seedlings” by Audrey R. Hollis is a surreal fantasy with the flavor of magic realism. A woman swallows a cactus. Spines grow from her body everywhere she has hair. Her choice to undergo this transformation leads to conflict with her lover. The author writes in a clear, calm style, making a concept that could have easily seemed ridiculous very believable. Readers may interpret the theme as an allegory for the many things that bring stress to a relationship, from lifestyle choices to serious illness to the decision to have a child. The verisimilitude of the story’s narrative style and its brief length, without a word wasted, add greatly to its power.

Victoria Silverwolf thinks Virgil’s is the best root beer.