Lull

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Lull by Kelly Link, which can be found at Weird Fiction Review and in Magic for Beginners: Stories [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Kelly Link, illo Shelley Jackson, with an exclusive conversation between Kelly Link and Joe Hill.

Link Magic for Beginners

I really groove on the sort of nested narrative that this story supplies, and the complicating elements of time travel, phone-sex oracle, diabolical magic, and possible extraterrestrial involvement make it a real doozy. I have read this story twice: from its original published version in the Peter Straub-edited 2002 volume Conjunctions 39: The New Wave Fabulists and the later anthology Sympathy for the Devil. Since 2014 it is also available online from Weird Fiction Review.

The biggest laugh item for me on my second read was probably the description of Ed’s latest game release: “The one with the baby heads and the octopus girlies, the Martian combat hockey.” But I thought the tone of the story was impressive for bringing together that sort of comedy with genuine pathos, in a sort of matrix of overdetermined absurdity.