Short Story Review: “Unearthly Landscape by a Lady” by Rebecca Campbell

2 of 5 stars.

Creating art and literature opens avenues for expression not limited by realism. The fantastical and horrible tap into something deeper and more primal, if not purely metaphoric.

This vignette depicts proper girls training to be proper ladies. Young Flora has a knack for painting elaborate landscapes with fine brushes onto the inside of delicate tea cups. Looking closely reveals alien and insectoid beings lurking in the shadows of her art. Often, they are odd-legged monstrosities defying the proper laws of nature.

Metaphoric? Surely. But also ironic as Flora is diagnosed with cancer . . .

This tale could have gone further and given more, but doesn’t. It remains a snapshot, a vignette, distanced by filtering through someone other than Flora.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 edited by Rich Horton, which I received directly from Prime Books.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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