Christine Rolfes

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Such a hearty sandwich, is Elegy.

You are undeniably skilled at creating glimpses of sci-fi worlds, and the way you injected bits of how life on the moon came to be within your narrative is spot on. Just enough groundwork for the reader to stand on. Just enough for a short story. The nomenclature just begs to be absorbed, like water to a dry sponge. Diana, Dian, ganja, accha, sahi, shiner, Glowbank, frame. I wish I knew more of this world and more of how the cultures came to meld!

You packed a whole lotta delicious innards into three chapters. I mean, shit, you paint words into sweeping dioramas. Colors (here, orange; there, grey; still, red and black, black and red) abound, sounds (whirs and hums, and that freakin' piano--that was unexpected) control the tempo, smells (curry and formaldehyde indeed; gag me please) surprise. All squished between two buns of haunting scenes that left me feeling decidedly unhinged.

Elegy is a story about a psychopath named Edwin who (maybe?) dated Lia in the past. However, she was only with him for his money ("eyes like coins" and Edwin Coin, nice.) and after she finished with him, she moved onto Monty. Cue Win befriending Monty, luring them both to the Darkin house, and . . . bad things happen.

Course, you don't know Win's crazy until the House, and I like it that way. Elements of sci-fi, a whisper of politics in the background, the sudden appearance of a classic Gothic ghost story (god, why does every haunted mansion have long, dark corridors??), and overarching social critique.

It seems to me that Lia deserved to die for more than just "taking advantage of men who fawned over her." Her use of eye-bulbs is a sin likened to a fault of many people today. Our lives so saturated with pictures and videos, that the substance and meaning behind them are lost. People take selfies just to take selfies, not to truly preserve and acknowledge them as memories should be. They smile, and smile, and smile, and then they die, like Edwin's mom. Like Edwin's memory of his age.

Whoo. Like I said, hearty sandwich. And I'm sure many literary references still went straight over my head.

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