Review of Armando Saldaña, “Symphony to a city under the stars”, Apex Magazine 104 (2018): Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.
This is a richly layered world, where dimensions and universes unfurl from the sky, and you can travel through them by song and ships, and where virtual reality has almost eclipsed physical life, at least on earth. The plot is simple enough: boy loves girl, girl travels the stars, girl returns. But the strangeness of the world, the structure, and the deftly lyrical language elevate it to something more.
The plot is a little hazy at times, but not unpleasantly so. I don’t think that precise details are the point of this piece, anyway. Like music itself, this story is more emotion than plot. Love and longing, the yearning to be with someone, but the equally strong need to explore the world and see distant sights, suffuse this piece with all the beautiful sorrow of a minor chord. The music of the language carries you through to the other side, and the neat echoes between the opening and closing images serve as prelude and finale.
Strongly recommended for anyone who loves rich imagery and lyrical language.