Monday, 26 November 2018

'The Golden Hour'

The final story in Uncertainties III is by Rosanne Rabinowitz. The golden hour is that time around dawn when the quality of light erases imperfections and 'infuses shabbiness with beauty'.

Set in London, the story concerns friendship, time, and the possibility of eternity that the golden hour hints at. The narrator sees a tower block radiating golden light. This triggers her search for Sheila, a photographer with whom she once collaborated on a book of photographs. Sheila became obsessed with light, with mirrors, with the idea of escaping into the golden hour forever.

The story is strange, and rather wonderful, but it is rooted in the sheer oddness of friendship - how people come together, how they drift apart. Friendship is more mysterious than love, in some respects, and the author explores this mystery while conjuring up a London as numinous as anything in Machen. The end of the story is a reunion and a revelation. There is no horror here, but an undeniable sense of wonder.

And thus we come to an end of an excellent anthology. Other reviewers have already said it, but it bears repeating - there are no duds in this one, only good to excellent stories. All credit to the authors, of course, but also to Lynda E. Rucker for curating an anthology that not only has something for everyone, but seems to partake of every strand one finds in the weird genre.

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