Book Review: The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature by Christopher Slatsky | More2Read
 

The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature by Christopher Slatsky


 

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Purchase From Grimscribe Press

 


 

About The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature

From the author of Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales comes this devastating collection of fifteen stories and essays. A father’s desperate search for his missing child leads to a cosmic haunted realm. A woman returns to her childhood home to find a past preserved in a semblance of life. A young man and his canine companion are plunged into the heart of an occult government exercise deep within a Pacific Northwest forest. An elderly man is subject to mysterious experiments as he descends into dementia. And, in the title novella, a forensic anthropologist is called to the site of the mass suicide of an anti-natalist cult obsessed with contacting Nature.

 


 

Praise For The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature

 

“Slatsky, more than any writer I know, has an ability to fathom human pain in a way that neither dismisses it or dilutes it but rather shows the way pain opens us all up to the inhuman. A powerful book of stories, each of which tears off the face of the so-called real in a different, alarming, enlightening way.”
—Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses and Song for the Unraveling of the World

“In [Slatsky’s] writing, the mundane trembles atop the darkly numinous. Displaying a remarkable variety of formal innovation, the pieces collected in The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature slice through the conventions of daily existence to the profound and terrifying absence undergirding it. In the best tradition of Ligotti and [Nicole] Cushing, Slatsky’s work wrestles with the void, to produce an art uniquely his.”
—John Langan, author of Sefira and Other Betrayals and The Fisherman

“The sense of loss in these stories is profound but balanced by a powerful yearning for wonders sublime and ineffable. Whether grotesque, conjuring dread and horror, or plunging the reader’s imagination into the fantastic, the strangeness never feels forced and seems innate to the writer. With The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, Christopher Slatsky embeds himself among the best writers of the contemporary North American Weird Tale.”
—Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual and The Reddening

“The gritty landscapes and detailed, hallucinogenic transformations in these extraordinary stories are somewhat reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell’s work, but Slatsky’s journeys lead us into weird visions even more darkly grotesque as his characters walk that delicate line between madness and illumination. The sensibility here as he explores the ineffable qualities of nature and our place within it (as just another animal) evokes the best of Algernon Blackwood, but through the lens of characters caught in downward spirals of grief and despair. Few writers of weird fiction go as dark as Christopher Slatsky.”
—Steve Rasnic Tem, author of Ubo and Deadfall Hotel

“A book of dreams and lamentations. Slatsky writes powerfully of absence, of grief, discovering cosmic horror in the agony of loss and a kind of bereavement in cosmic despair. Throughout The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, stories of human tragedy become windows to an empty universe. The view is at once sobering, inspiring, and profoundly sad.”
—Daniel Mills, author of Moriah and The Lord Came at Twilight

Christopher Slatsky achieves a sense of dread and disorientation through the accumulation of small details, compounding into physical settings that are at once both familiar and dream-like, environments that embody the struggle between cosmic entropy and human loss. Navigating one of his stories is like exploring an abandoned factory or gutted house, uncovering buried jewel and charred bone, and discovering snapshots of your own life amongst the detritus. His prose is beautiful, his range breathtaking. I have admired his work in the past, but this generous volume has cemented my opinion: he is absolutely one of the finest writers of horror and the uncanny working today.”
—Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown and The Unnamed Country

“Christopher Slatsky’s second collection, The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature, is a marvel of horror and weird fiction. The stories in its pages speak equally to loss and existential horror as they do the far-flung mysteries of the universe and the terrifying wonder those mysteries can awaken. On every page, Slatsky forges a strange, mesmerizing alloy of the sublime, the spectral, and the scientific. In his hands, the weird becomes an entryway to dark and disturbing metaphysical speculation. He evokes the threat of malign demiurges in space exploration, the inexplicable nature of all being in personal tragedy. Call it cosmic hauntology. Call it the despair of the numinous. Call it whatever you will, it’s uniquely Slatsky, and it will twist your mind in the best possible ways. The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature proves beyond any doubt that horror and the weird are as much a vessel for serious philosophy as they are for a shudder-inducing tale. I cannot recommend it enough.”
—Kurt Fawver, author of The Dissolution of Small Worlds

“…Slatsky’s voice is rare and thus commendable for his total devotion to the darkest, most funereal, dead dreamer’s songs… If you like your horror pitch black—this is it!”
—Dejan Ognjanovi, Dante’s Pick in Rue Morgue magazine, #192, Jan./Feb. 2019

“…Slatsky’s The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature is one tremendous emotional gut punch after another. And yet these stories are stimulating to the intellect while also managing to hit that sweet spot where beauty and the strange wrap around one another to create something truly, unflinchingly, and even delicately weird. Slatsky is one of the very best we have, hands down.”
—Robert S. Wilson, Co-editor in Chief at Nightscape Press

“…a powerful voice tapped deep into the vein of both human and cosmic sorrow. These are stories that traverse crushing grief and malleable time, and Slatsky handles both the intimate and the numinous with a deft, incisive hand. …It’s really no wonder why Grimscribe chose Slatsky to throw them headfirst into the ring, so to speak, as this is a collection consistent in quality and diverse in content, unified by an unflinching pessimism that roils beneath its surface. And yet, it does not place itself above its characters—instead empathizing with their trials and the meaningless hurt they experience. The result is a deep, affecting resonance, matched only by the reader’s own horror of recognition.”
—Carson Winter, Signal Horizon

“Slatsky may also be the greatest visual stylist that horror fiction has ever known. He creates these perfect paragraphs, these incredible tableaus, of just mind-shattering power… After reading stories like ‘Phantom Airfields’ or ‘The Carcass of the Lion’, which to me are some of the best horror fiction currently being written, you have to put the book down, kind of let what you just experienced soak in, come to terms with what you just read and try to understand the strange feelings you just had overwhelm you… Slatsky’s walking terrors enter your psyche, it burrows so deep that it will be with you for the rest of your days.”
—Scott Dwyer, The Plutonian, editor of Pluto in Furs

 


 

Review

Uncanny and disquieting hauntingly good tales conjured before you with the grotesque and beauty, the cosmic, the internal and philosophical, memorable tales administered with the lucid and existential visceral writing, with souls in crucibles and cruxes, complexities and questions as denizens of this earth against the grain of masses seeing through a certain eye and view with deep and vast gracefully probing poetic prose style.

 

Phantom Airfields

There is a devastating loss of a young child with a father at his end of hope and has ideas of ending it all and harm, a trigger warning for someone in a dark low place at present.

A spaceman character in this and possibly providing one small step to a little closure.

A short somber disquieting tale permeating the heart for a time.

 

“Everything rots. The world dilapidates. Everyone will vanish into nothingness.”

“Wide open space. Helps me think.”

“Fantasizing about hurting himself was the only semblance of control he had these days.”

 

Engines of the Ocean

A case of shady and obscure memories with an absorbing haunting tale of discoveries with a curious Cordelia traveling back to her childhood home.

 

“That room in the basement. The stuff of childhood terrors. She’d never actually entered it, only glimpsed the brick-lined interior on those rare occasions the door had been left ajar. The unpleasant scent of the space was forever in her memory. A sweaty residue—or was it more like the ocean?
The room had always been off-limits. It was where her father wrote his ideas down, sketching various machine designs as a hobby. A frustrated engineer, relegated to a field service technician position for the city’s water department, she’d never seen any of his finished projects actually operating. The weird machines of unknown function never made it from the page to fruition, and nothing ever led to a promotion.”

“The mind was an unreliable thing, all too often preserving dark moments while neglecting the joyful. There was some light in between the cracks of a dreary childhood, and most were illuminated by their adventures at the ocean.”

“She’d fallen into the uncanny valley of sentiment, a childhood imperfectly replicated.”

 

The Carcass Of The Lion 

 

The short starts with a nicely crafted evocation of two women, friends, one a beekeeper with bees around her, along with a great little simile.

“The beekeeper’s veil stuck to Sylvia’s sweaty forehead, fine gaps in the material blurring Hazel’s body into a gauzy ghost. The flurry of insects around her now made it appear as if she had a halo of bees. The hive boxes seemed strange in this setting, like building blocks left behind by a monstrous child. Sylvia continued walking alongside a stream that originated in the forest, bubbling from below into a thin path to join a shallow pond the bees and other wildlife used as a water source.

“Hazel. Dearest. What in the world are you up to out here?”

Hazel turned on hearing Sylvia’s voice, startled by the sight of her in full beekeeper regalia, as if she were a bug-eyed alien from a 50s sci-fi flick just stepped from its saucer.”

Then there is talk of an enemy, Cancer.
Sylvia wonders later in the very realm of the past, retreading, reviving terrors and fears, these complexities all brought back again by another encounter with this species and she ponders on the whole real truth of it all and the deeper layers of complexities in relation to it.
Maybe a folk horror this could be along with existential visceral writing.
There is a great arrangement of words with this short poetic sympathy of a tale incorporating beauty and splendor, somberness and death.

Also to note, I am no expert and sometimes doubt my summarizes.

“Random, vicious events splayed out across history’s timeline, contrasted against humanity’s calculated depravity. No rhyme or reason to anything—unless it was humanity’s proclivity for barbarism. A roll of the dice by a malicious gambler.”

“She was an imaginative child. Whatever it was would be long dead now. Maybe she’d dreamt the whole encounter.

But it wasn’t just the strange animal sighting long ago that prevented her from going into the woods—the idea that some faiths prayed to nature, and practiced their rituals deep within sacred groves, was also deeply worrisome. Communicating with vine-clad gods under leaf shade, dancing upon sidhe mounds with demi-gods below centuries old branches—the very thought filled her with a delicious fear. Hadn’t she once played hide-and-seek here? The thought was a blur. She didn’t recall having any companions her age to play with in the area, but the impression she’d hidden deep inside a hole out there while something tried to find her was persistent. She shuddered at the morning chill and the memory. The woods terrified, the woods exhilarated.”

“She was just an artist imagining what could’ve been. Dreams were all well and good, but the practical aspects of life all too often atrophied aspirations. Marriages failed. Parents weak and filled with rage.”

“Nature created glorious structures with no intent or foresight, the Giant’s Causeway being one such example. Competence without comprehension. The illusion of purpose by the purposeless.

But she couldn’t imagine how this heptagram star-shape was possible by chance alone, by unthinking bees, without a guiding hand. The colors in the comb were captivating, a nacreous sheen, though such a simple description didn’t adequately convey the depths of its beauty. Sylvia felt tongue-tied, dizzy and sour-mouthed.”
 

The Numinous in God, Nature, and Horror 

“Why this submissive dread, this overwhelming fascination with the ineffable that invariably informs so much art, so many religions, and horror fiction specifically? Most importantly, does the numinous reside within the believer and non- believer; the deist, polytheist, monotheist, atheist, and the secularist throughout human history?”

He poses some very deep questions like these and leaves plenty to ruminate along with two paintings a first for me learn of by Woman before the Rising Sun (Woman before the Setting Sun) by Caspar David Friedrichand and Wind Blown Grass Across the Moon by Hiroshige.

 


Rising Sun (Woman before the Setting Sun) by Caspar David Friedrichand


Wind Blown Grass Across the Moon by Hiroshige.


 

He talks on memories from a younger self and references Blackwood’s “The Man Whom the Trees Loved, I have to re-read, and then talks on “the terrifying grandeur of weird storytelling” what a great treatise on these matters, awe struck.

Just ponder over this excerpt:

“I have a distinct memory of when I was 5 and we’d just moved from Southern California to Oregon, to our new home, a house hidden away in the woods on an isolated 32-acre forest covered mountain. I remember the first night there, standing by myself outside, looking into the dark woods free of any light pollution in such a distant place. I was dumbstruck by the majesty and mystery of it all. Like Sanderson in Blackwood’s “The Man Whom the Trees Loved,” I too was consumed by what I can only describe as a pantheistic fervor and raw atavistic fear at what I could not comprehend lurking within the darkest depths of the forest. I experienced that pious terror in the grandeur and power where nature, religion, and horror embrace.

The vastness of the natural world may invoke reactions similar to those moved by pious revelations, and this is of great relevance to the terrifying grandeur of weird storytelling. The uncanny is omnipresent, and seems to be an innate aspect of being human, of how we view the world and how the irrational, surreal, and disturbing distortion of the physical world invokes unease.”

Another interesting recommendation arises with Necromancers by R.H Besnon.

He may have penned the name of this collection from writing this piece as I notice these two lines “Vastness. Light years. Parsecs. Immeasurable gulfs.”

This work discusses the numinous, God, Nature and horror, fear and wonder, there be views expressed one may agree or disagree, he does successfully bring to account matters, hearts at battle with, ones from many denizens of this earth that cannot be dismissed without tangible things.

 

Excerpts

 

“Hiroshige’s Wind Blown Grass Across the Moon accomplishes something similar. While it would be a chauvinistic mistake to make a one-to-one comparison, Hiroshige’s portrayal of grass contrasted against a full moon is similar to Woman Before the Rising Sun; both evoke terror and wonder in the face of Nature.”

“There’s an ominous quality to these arts—in paintings, film, music, literature, the emphasis on nature occulted, yet also gloriously pious, conveys a sense of awe, of the universe’s scope and our infinitesimal place in it, of God, of beauty and mystery. There are so many fascinating examples amongst various cultures I can’t possibly do justice to the varieties of art that explores the connection between God, Nature, and fear.”

“Humanity’s insignificance in the face of storms, the ocean and its depths, vistas, massive mountain ranges, the vastness of the cosmos, in the complexity of the infinite, of numbers, Fibonacci patterns, fractals, infinite repetitions in the natural world, doesn’t require theism to inspire and thrill. Nature is awe-inspiring. Nature is terrifying. We’re all the product of the same evolutionary processes; we have a numinous seed planted in our heads regardless the culture or era we were born into.”

 

 

The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

 

There be sensing in this, joining hands and in the darkness of the room round a table waiting for a sign kind of affair.
There is remembering of the past and of one once alive along with the pensive unraveling of the tale layered out with gracefully probing prose style.
A heart of one Alice at battle with the prospect of communication with her son and the ramifications upon her beliefs through a seance, will she meet for more summoning?

“Together. We’ll try. Just this once.”
“May I ask who this Noah fellow is?” Rose indelicately spoke up.
“A departed loved one.” Gregory spoke curtly. “Someone we would very much like to hear from again.”

“She couldn’t dissuade them of their certainty, even if she’d any interest in doing so. Let them surmise her sweaty skin as a miraculous occurrence. This was what they’d requested. This was what they’d wanted. Let them wallow in a spiritualist stupor. She understood now how believers could so easily become followers.”

“Everything in Alice’s home took on an ominous air after that first séance—the curve of a chair’s back held suggestions of dread, of empty spaces allowing unseen forces to reside. The Victrola brimmed with malicious possibilities. Something untoward could shriek from any record, from behind a window, from any shadow pooling by each and every piece of furniture.”

“Alice would forever picture Noah as an 8-year-old boy, not the strapping 19-year-old man he was when slaughtered in the Champagne Marne offensive, struck down among the cratered earth and jagged tree trunks. She’d seen photographs of the war, of corpses held upright in rusty wire, bodies mangled by German bullets, doughboys rotting in the mud. Of course, none of this was explained in detail on the telegram, only a terse, “Death was instantaneous. We were unable to retrieve his remains and he lies in a soldier’s grave where he fell.”

“She wanted to refuse another séance, insist that what had been done was done. Noah was dead. God had a Plan, and they were not to interfere.”

“This was all false. The world had been reduced to celebrating floating trumpets in darkened rooms and being told what to think by spirits in place of relying on their wits and humbling themselves before the immensity of God’s nature. She’d associated with coarse people, humbled herself before unpleasant acquaintances to mollify a need for superiority. This lovely Boston home, her expensive clothing, furniture and material items, every aspect of their lives subjected to others’ scrutiny—her very faith had been dictated by whims, piety itself now incumbent on fashion.”

 

 

Palladium At Night 

He had his share of troubles various kinds and of recent, well eight months recent, drinking ones, he wanted some solitude and alone time in the tower away from the city.
When his watch stopped and died and phone battery suddenly dead en route to the tower trepidation will be mounting.
There be the rational and irrational colliding, memories of old in new terrain recalling and strange discoveries and signs of wickedness of old await amongst the dilapidated tower and the Leman Observatory and its surrounding wilderness.
One will be thinking if a break needed in a tower in middle of nowhere do deep research on the history of the land, the off the books kind.
From the offset one has empathy for the dog Cadejo and immersed with concern of what his friend has lead him to.
Trepidation and horror viscerally done.

“But Irepani welcomed solitude. He’d wanted to spend a few nights in the tower ever since hearing about it. The idea of being far from civilization and its trappings appealed to him. The lookout was perfect; nothing to rent and no way anybody would know he’d squatted there for a few days. He’d be safe. Hopefully the wild would help quell those alcoholic naggings that refused to completely vacate his system. Just get away from it all. The city. The part-time job. The past. He was grateful for everything in his life, especially his cousin Lorena, his dog Cadejo the Third, and God, but he needed to get away.”

“Time was an artificial construct, and constructs may be torn down.”

“Addiction was just the consequence of bits of matter jumbled together to pretend it had some inherent value.”

 

Devil Gonna Catch You in The Corners

Terrible journals and diaries delivering morbidity.
Malevolent presence in a hauntingly good tale.
Her uncle once was in the art of “holding spirited colloquies with that ill-shaped doll” with “Fox-Faced Rannie.”
Old memories unearthed, new discoveries and complexities arrive in terrain of old and an unwillingness to “upset Uncle’s delicate constitution with frivolous investigations,” and hoping no interloping of sleep will follow.

“It has been a trying journey over narrow deer-paths and rutted trails. Heavy branches of ancient oaks cast the way in shadow, yet I continue to write my thoughts in my diary—what Father mockingly refers to as “belles-lettres”. When I was a child, I kept a daily record during the two-month emigration from New-England to the Willamette Valley where Father had been hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company; as an adult, a mere two-days’ travel will not dissuade me from continuing to write. These valleys, these streams that break the monotony of impenetrable alder and oak forests make the wagon’s passage that much more difficult.

I have left home as my parents offered my services to Uncle Jon Sutton, who has taken ill and is convalescing in his isolated country estate. Being his only niece, it was decided to send me to assist with any daily tasks necessary to maintain his orderly domicile, while a nurse Marjorie attends to his health. I consider it fortunate I am bound for Uncle’s distant place and not condemned to settle somewhere like Mudtown, for the tales of that city’s squalor invite much hesitation.”

“The bracing air out here is invigorating; the black soil encourages the growth of tangled green that covers the land in such lavish amounts that I feel as if I’m within a faery tale. This is God’s country indeed.”

“It is a curious thing, this ventriloquist talent. To think that it was recently perceived a malefic art, a divine throat spoken, or, conversely, a gift from disreputable imps and devils! But now ventriloquism is all the rage with the public—jugglers and conjurers readily demonstrate its charms.”

 

Professor Cognoscente’s Caliginous Charms Carnival

 

Sorcerer and apprentice, apostle, there be talk on practices of magic and Occult.
Illusions and corruption await.
He really should have not pursued Professor Cognoscente.

“It would be a mistake and breach of etiquette to turn a fellow sorcerer away on such a meaningful anniversary.”

“Old houses make strange noises, as old magicians tell strange stories.”

“That night—your performance, your tricks—it was the single most important event in my life. You’re the reason why I wanted to become a magician.”

 

 

The Anthroparain Integration Technique

 

Bian has depression and a new treatment sought out, an unconventional form with certain stages of therapies, rituals and happenings.

“Bian had heard her parents discussing Dr. Silvert several months before the visit. From what she’d picked up, they considered him a last resort, and an unappealing one at that. He was an “occult quack,” and rumors of illegal therapies plagued his practice. But drastic circumstances necessitated drastic treatments—and considering every other therapy had been a dead end, they’d arranged a session.”

“From what she could gather, Anthroparian Integration presupposed the birth of the cosmos as the metastasis of existence. Atoms were composed of cancerous particles, and consequently, matter was inherently corrupt. The material universe was a pathology, a decomposing skin festering around the ethereal nature of Seraphim.
There were only three stages to the therapy: the Revelation Phase, which she’d finished, Extrapolation Technique, and the Numinous Exuviation Method. Each one further opened up the patient to their potential within, allowing a profound communication with the Seraphim.
The final step, the Numinous Exuviation Method, filled her with a strange sense of elation and fear despite not knowing what it entailed. None of Dr. Silvert’s literature gave any descriptions.”

“An electrical thrill shot through her. She was doing something wrong, violating a mysterious sacred rite. Like standing on a length of old train tracks, rails stippled with lichen, wooden ties crumbling from time. But a train was coming, the tracks vibrating as something massive hurtled its way down a path long abandoned. The anxiety was crushing.”

 

 

The Figurine

Sister gone, big brother confronting her tragic loss and new concerns arise after finding a mysterious uncanny figurine hidden under her bed.
A haunting unsettling strange tale containing evil that males do. 

 

 

Sparagmos

That Word that starts with D now commonly attributed to an ailment and illness many denizens of this earth in increasing great numbers plagued and suffering with.
Dementia.
This stories core tragedy at the heart of Glen, a once radio talk show host.
Desperate hours and days with fading things, finding ones abode and familiar faces strange and puzzling.

“Glen Steinman consulted his journal. The radio talk show sputtered nonsense.
…outside town, 6-year-old Jerry Grace holds the decapitated head of his friend while his father looks on proudly.
But that couldn’t be correct. Glen tried to record everything in his journal, wrote down questions which he answered first thing every morning. He filled in crossword puzzles, practiced spelling tests to hone his mental acuity. Dementia couldn’t win as long as he kept writing everything down. He’d beat this.”

“A diseased memory, a mental snapshot of his children’s faces was smeared like a drop of water on ink in his notebook. But he couldn’t forget about them. Not yet. He had to find his way to the center of the maze first.”

“Words were no longer processed in his brain correctly. Language had become a creaking, tilting Tower of Babel, threatening to scatter all coherence to the wind. Dementia had perverted his ability to understand. He turned the radio’s volume down.”

“Everything was dependent on memory. Without memory, the world had no meaning.”

 

 

The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature

 

Mina a Forensic Anthropologist in search of what had taken place at Omelas Farm, anxieties induced hence forth at the farm, the secrets, and what lies beneath.
Certain real and surreal matters become clearer for Mina in the tales grotesque philosophical finale.

“A cult calling themselves The Ones Who Walk Away had done the unthinkable and ended their lives on an isolated compound called Omelas Farm.
Dozens of badly decomposed remains required sorting, cataloguing and identification. Many more were expected to be found—the cult had an estimated 249 members who’d taken residence on the Farm, and more potential survivors off-site. If the membership roster was even close to accurate, it looked as if this was going to be the biggest cult mass suicide since The Order of the Solar Temple in ‘94. There were a staggering number of bodies to identify.”

“Mina looked out the plane’s window to see a dark sheet of clouds roiling beneath the plane like an angry ocean. The weird planet-head dream faded into the farthest recesses of her memory. The cabin’s recycled air was unpleasantly greasy. She could taste the breath of so many strangers, their sickening molecules slipping into her mouth, over her tongue, into her nostrils, down her throat into her lungs, polluting her insides with foreign particles. She stifled her gag reflex. Willing herself to ignore the tainted cabin air, she concentrated on what might be waiting for her at Omelas Farm.”

“It was always a balancing act—Mina found the science and processes involved in studying human remains fascinating, exhilarating even, but exposure to tragedies and the depths of depravity humanity was capable of had grown harrowing over time.”

“Following Katrina, she was contacted by various agencies to look into cases that challenged the authorities. As most states don’t have a forensic anthropologist on payroll, Mina was the go-to consultant all over the country, at the top of every medical examiner’s contact list. Heralded as a rising star anthropologist, she was brilliant, and years ahead of her colleagues. Even her peer reviewed papers on human and pig decomposition rates were quoted in various news reports.
But she felt she’d never been good enough. The media played up her Korean heritage and adoption by a devout white American couple in 1977.”

“Mina drove slowly on the way to Omelas Farm. The sun was setting. Dark clouds still filled the sky, though the landscape had yet to be subsumed by darkness. Each field had at least one scarecrow keeping guard, even if the land grew nothing but weeds. Mina was mystified as to why some land was dead and bare, while other plots were vibrant with emerald swathes of grass and snakeroot. There was a pleasant loneliness here. The romanticism of rural life in the quiet and pristine air. It was an invigorating beauty.
But Mina also found something ominous about the woods. The Red and Big-leaf maple trees grew thick on the mountainside, impenetrable by vehicle, hiding so many secrets. Perhaps even more bodies waiting to be discovered, stuffed inside rotten logs, or interred beneath the mossy forest floor.”

““Here’s how I see it, Mina: by condemning a mind that experiences suffering, by saying consciousness is terrible and unnatural, they appeal to a kind of nihilistic anthropocentrism. Anti-natalism is misanthropic and anthropocentric. It’s a philosophy of—I’m not sure how to put it—solipsism? That’s it. Solipsistic epistemology.””

““Human beings are quite good at making up reasons for destroying others, hiding their justifications behind politics and philosophy and religion. My philosophy comes from seeing far more than I care to think about when it comes to genocide.”

 

 


 

About Christopher Slatsky

 

Christopher Slatsky’s stories have appeared in Shadows & Tall Trees, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vastarien: A Literary Journal, and elsewhere. His debut collection, Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales (Dunhams Manor Press), was released summer of 2015. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

 



 

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 11 April 2021