Review of G. V. Anderson, “Das Steingeschöpf”, in Steve Berman, ed., Wilde Stories 2017: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction (Lethe Press, 2017): 13-28. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
A hundred million things to paint, to write, to carve, to compose, all trapped in a body that’s failing. Awareness of a brother come to save them at last, separated only by Ambroise’s skin.
An unexpected commission, a journey in the dark, a hidden treasure in an attic, a stone man already alive and ready to be loved…so begins a sort of Pygmalion-in-reverse story.
The best of stories are the ones you read and wish they were real. Everything about this story was perfect — the level of detail to set the scene, the historical references to set the time, the way in which the creation of the Steingeschöpf’s seems so perfectly natural — every aspect of their construction and composition is exactly what you’d expect it to be, so that even though this should be utterly unfamiliar and new, it is not, it feels familiar and already known.
Part of me wishes the story had a happy ending, but even for that I cannot wish this story other than it is.