Heed the warning: a review of “Ansible 15715,” the new short story by Stant Litore

A science fiction / fantasy short story writer has a difficult task in a story form already very difficult to get right; they need, with tight economy, to accomplish convincing world building that their novelist counterparts have much more space to achieve. They also need to build in characterisation, pace, and a decent enough pay off, even if that’s the just the pleasure of good writing.
Mr Litore has achieved this in spades with this tight little Lovecraftian shocker. Nearly half a century from now we have evolved to he point where we can project our minds across space to inhabit the minds of others, to study and make contact with humans detected on other worlds. At least a select specially trained few can. This tells the story of the first such expedition and their shocking and horrifying discovery.
To reveal any more would be to start delving into spoilers. Suffice to say; in the reduced canvas available to him the writer conjures a terrible and nightmarish place and utterly alien and terrible creatures. He conjures themes of loss of self and the ultimate horror, the death and torment of the soul, and the terrible cost to our hubristic belief in progress and our superiority (a genre staple). What is terrifying about the threat this story describes is that there is no limit to the suffering it can inflict.
The devil is in the detail in the short story, and boy does this devil have teeth. Or maybe tentacles….


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