Short Story Review: “Windows Underwater” by John Shirley

3 of 5 stars.

Lovecraft’s modern day myth of the dysmorphic and transmorphic denizens of Innsmouth, MA has seen many iterations. Broadly, a fishing village comes under the influence of an Old One, akin to a titan, residing in the deep sea. The human followers start to morph into a gilled, webbed fish-people more ghastly eel than Disney mermaid.

This variant follows 2 friends over 3 get-togethers spread over 3 decades. They start in their village just outside of Innsmouth at 21 y.o. with Gilberto wanting to get away from his dad and brother’s fishing vessel and make it in Hollywood. Lymon is resigned to staying local.

The 2nd get together, 14 years later, sees Gilberto returning from life in California and reconnecting with Lymon who shows Gil the effect of rapidly rising sea levels to the coastal town of Innsmouth. While there, they see literally fishy people swimming beneath the waves among the drowned buildings. Lymon lures Gil into the water . . .

This tale appears in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016 edited by Paula Guran, I received directly from Prime Books. I’ve previously read this author’s “Aftertaste”, “Ash”, “At Home With Azathoth”, “Just Beyond the Trailer Park”, and his excellent “Isolation Point, California”.

 

 

 

[Check out my other reviews here.]

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