The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith 7/10
The Yellow Dog, Georges Simenon, tr Linda Asher 7/10
Lock 14, by Georges Simenon 6/10
What Lot's Wife Saw, by Ionna Bourazoupalou, tr 8/10
“The Doctor is looking after his dying caterpillars,” she explained. Fabrizio’s hobby was to order insects, although he knew they couldn’t survive the Colony’s atmosphere beyond the few hours which they would spend on his walls, but they gave him the illusion of a natural environment. He also ordered plants that arrived in special jars but withered within twenty-four hours, although he strove to keep them alive to create the impression that he was tending a garden. This was his way of protecting himself from the danger of madness or of suicide, which was an epidemic in the southern quarters.
Fantasy that becomes reality loses its potency and cannot perform its function. Much worse, it betrays you as it shows how wrong you can be even in your most intimate imagination.
Tenth of December, by George Saunders 6/10