Review of Bogi Takács, “The Size of a Barleycorn, Encased in Lead” in The Trans Space Octopus Congregation Stories, (Lethe Press, Inc., 2019): 195-198 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
Content warning: Mentions of nuclear warfare.
The story itself reflects its title, being small, compact, and feeling almost as if it is made up out of little kernels itself. Much of the story is constructed out of quotes drawn from other sources, primarily from the Old Testament and the Talmud, translated by Takács and then woven together into a beautiful whole. It’s just so well-crafted and constructed, there is aesthetic pleasure alone from that level, on top of the enjoyment deriving from the actual story. I just loved this one, possibly my favorite of the volume.
(First published in Uncanny Magazine 15, 2017).