Lady Churchillís Rosebud Wristlet - No. 27 - August 2011
Edited by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link, Jedediah Berry, Michael J. DeLuca
Cover Artist: Kathleen Jennings
Review by Sam Tomaino
Small Beer Press ISBN/ITEM#: 1544-7782
Date: 28 August 2011
Links: Lady Chaurchill's Rosebud Wristlet / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Lady Churchillís Rosebud Wristlet, is here with issue #27 with more of its distinctly different fiction.
The issue begins with "The Wolves of St. Etienne" by A.D. Jameson. Lewis is alone in his hotel room and gets a phone call. He doesn't answer at first because he knows who is calling. He eventually answers and it is, indeed, the wolves who mock him. They had taken over St. Etienne before he had decided to visit there with his family. We get a look at his life which only becomes clear at the end, and gives us a nice little chill.
Jessy Randall tells us all about "The Hedon-Ex Anomaly" in the story of that name. Hedon-Ex is used when children get a bit too rambunctious in school. It puts them to sleep. The anomaly is that it causes some of them to twirl around like whirling dervishes. Our narrator is one of them. It also has another side effect that our narrator likes. Randall gives is a good little look at future child discipline.
In "Thou Earth, Thou" by K.M. Ferebee, Mason is a costumier who works in New York City but he has moved to the suburbs for love of his partner Dunbar, whom the city stifles. Things are all right at first, but Mason notices something strange about the property which seems to have an affect on Dunbar. This one develops a nicely gradual feeling of unease, culminating in some quiet horror.
"Elvis in Bloom" by Karen Heuler is really four short pieces about different phases in the life of some creature called Elvis. The parts are called 'My Son Elvis', 'The Elvis Rehab Facility', 'The Elvis Retirement Facility' and 'Elvis in Bloom'. It takes this Elvis full cycle in a beautifully written tale.
In "A Sackful of Ramps" by M.K. Hobson, Toby's wife, Lita, is pregnant and wants ramps from the garden of Edna Gothel, a mean lady who lives next door. That might sound like a familiar story and aspects of it are. But Hobson takes things in a very strange direction for a great little story.
Carol Emshwiller always gives us something very different and very good in "The Mismeasure of Me", her narrator is a woman on a journey of self-discovery. She finds an unusual man who fascinates her. No one could pull off a story like this except Emshwiller and she does so splendidly.
When Patrick and Janice break up, he retrieves his things from the house they shared, including a "Music Box" in David Rowinski's tale. It was actually something he had given her. But it's more than just a music box. When played, it has an effect on things around it. It affects Patrick, too, and gives us another wonderful tale.
"The Sale of Midsummer" by Joan Aiken was first published in 1976 but deserves reprinting. Itís another one of those fine little fantasies that Aiken was so good at writing. It concerns a place called Midsummer Village "so beautiful that it exists for only three days a year". The village is actually owned by a trust and a rich man named Carrock has expressed interest in buying it. A television camera crew is asking residents of the town about the legend and gets a different story from each of them. Which story is true? Aiken leaves that to us.
Last of all, there is "The Malanesian" by Sarah Harris Wallman. This is really two stories. One is of a woman named Tanga who works for a family named Rogers as a live-in maid. She is supposed to be from a country called Malanesia. The other story is about a rich girl named Alexis Leonard who is rebelling from her too-perfect family. They both come together in a surprising way.
For something different, subscribe to Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet!