Deborah Ross on Glitter Rose

Deborah Ross on Glitter Rose

I’m sure Deborah Ross won’t mind me re-posting this review she did for Glitter Rose a while back:

Marianne de Pierres, Glitter RoseI found this little collection of short stories in my goodie bag at the last World Fantasy Convention. Otherwise, I might never have known about it, as it’s from a small print run by an Australian publisher (Twelfth Planet Press). These are exquisite stories, understated in the best sense of the word, with weirdness and mystery (and a little drama here and there) woven into them. Most of them follow the narrator as she arrives on a tropical island, seeking solace for a deep wound that she can’t even bear to describe. The island, however, is subject to waves of wind-borne spores that generate “exotic, often terminal afflictions” for anyone who cannot afford the expensive antidote. As Tinashi settles into her self-imposed exile, she develops relationships with the island’s inhabitants, layer by layer exposing their secrets, her own, and those of the tidal spores.

With the last of the sunset…strange phosphorescence claimed the sand, colorless at first and rapidly changing to a carpet of tiny, glitterrose_yellow-cover_sketch2_web.jpgshining, rose-coloured grains. Something about them compelled me to hasten to the beach and run them through my fingers and toes.

I must have stirred, because Geronimo and Arthur Wang each laid a hand on my arm.

“The spores are active,” Arthur Wang explained. “Walking on the beach during glitter rose can be…” he trailed off.

Geronimo took it up, his voice a quiet boom. “What the Prof. Is saying, Tinashi, is — if you walk on the beach at glitter rose, you might has well feed your Tyline to the fish. And you don’t know what the spores will do. How they will change you. Everyone is different. The locals, I mean. Some things you can see, like the eyes and the water retention in the forehead. Others it’s only on the inside. They’re the ones to watch. You never know about them. By heaven, it’s tempting though.” His voice brimmed with emotion in that last sentence, like a man on the limit of endurance.

I glanced among them then, and saw the feeling mirrored in their faces. Longing. And fear.

I gulped my pink champagne deeply and felt the tingle waken dead places in me.