Tag: Elizabeth Hand

Elizabeth Hand, ‘Near Zennor’ (2011)

After the sudden death of Anthea, his British-born wife, American Jeffrey Kearin discovers a cache of letters from her childhood which reveal  that the thirteen-year-old Anthea and a couple of friends visited Robert Bennington, a children’s writer who was later charged with molesting.  Jeffrey travels to England to investigate, and finds that one of the girls, Moira, ran away later in the year and was never seen again; he makes his way to Bennington’s old home-county of Cornwall in search of answers, but things only get more mysterious.

Hand’s story has a nice atmosphere of strangeness, and its fantastic elements are among the most interesting and distinctive in the anthology. Overall, though, I don’t think ‘Near Zennor’ reaches the same level of intensity as some of the other stories.

Rating: ***

Elizabeth Hand’s website

Elizabeth Hand, ‘The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon’ (2010)

A museum exhibit designer takes it upon himself to restage the first flight of the Bellerophon, a Heath Robinson-esque aircraft which crashed in mysterious circumstances, and of which only a few seconds of film footage survives. At fifty pages, this is the longest story in the anthology — but it zips along so briskly that it feels only half its length. Told with brio, Hand’s tale is great fun, and saves a moment of real poignancy for the end.

Rating: ***½

Elizabeth Hand’s website

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