REVIEW: “Silverlace” by David Barber

Review of David Barber, “Silverlace”, Strange Constellations September 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Kathryn Kania.

Silverlace tells the story of Anna and her daughter Kate. The Arctic Meltwater has frozen the British Isles, creating a desolate landscape of desperation and fear.

The story structure is presented as a series of “Debriefs” though I was a bit unclear on who was talking to the reader and who the reader was a stand in for. I’ll also be honest with you, a few years ago, I fell down the hole in the internet that is the SCP Foundation and because of the format, I sort of expected something similar to the horror and slow unveiling of a chilling technology from this story as that wiki provides. I did not get that out of this story, though the same feeling of unease and slight body horror is present.

The story is fascinating in its own right, however. It describes a technology that allows rich people to literally jump into the bodies of the poor to play killing games with each other. It’s very expensive, very dangerous paintball with bullets at the expense of their ‘proxies’ and when Kate, Anna’s daughter decides to become a proxy, something unexpected happens.

At the end, the POV shifts from third to first person, leaving me a bit confused, though it brings a shudder to my spine to hear from a bitter, hateful Anna directly. The story was an interesting piece that could be a great look at an almost literal interpretation of ‘eat the rich’ with a little tightening up in places to really impact the reader the way a story like this should, but was an enjoyable read overall.