THE HEINSENBERG MUTATION

By Steve Redwood

D Press 2004

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

“The Heisenberg mutation” is yet another charming booklet printed and distributed by the elusive but worthy “D”, whose unrelenting efforts to give voice to new writers are starting to attract attention also outside the claustrophobic world of the small press. Now it's Steve Redwood's turn to see some of his stories collected and visualised, with the help of the illustrator Carol Humphreys, who has provided some fascinating artwork.

The booklet starts on the right foot with “Going back” ,where a rape triggered by a night of fierce drinking and the subsequent, unforseen tragedy keep haunting a man's soul. Can we change the past? Can we fix somehow the things we did wrong? And, supposing things can be reversed, what is the price we must pay? This fascinating theme is retold and developed quite nicely by Redwood in a smooth narrative style.

In “Off the shelf” in a future world many men's dreams come true: women are for rent and when they start to deteriorate are either “serviced” or dismissed. In this sexist game there is no place for emotions or feelings, unless you want to run the risk of seeing your beautiful doll getting too human... An intense tale which, under its fictional surface, tells a lot about the meaning of life and the gift of love.

“The Solaris effect” cleverly describes the subtle game of hide and seek between a man and a woman who, although mutually attracted, are restrained by the awareness of a bet occurred in a pub's toilets. More a mainstream story that a piece of dark fantasy “The Solaris effect” is a good example of effective fiction where the characters are credible and the dialogues do not have that fake,literary aftertaste. Very enjoyable.

I won't comment upon the title story “The Heisenberg mutation”. So strong is my dislike for humorous fiction that my judgement would be unfairly biased...

Ay any rate, Redwood is a fine, versatile writer, displaying a genuine talent and I don't need to be a fortune-teller to predict for him a bright future.


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