Ice's plot doesn't so much progress as spiral inwards, tightening in on the moment in which the encroaching ice leaves only the narrator and the woman alone in the world. Even this point of convergence, however, isn't the novel's purpose -- indeed, the story ends ambivalently, holding out the possibility of yet more iterations of the narrator's story to come. Ice is an exercise in sustaining an emotional tone -- an oppressive, terrifying, senseless one. It succeeds at this task admirably, making for a reading experience that is not so much pleasant as irresistible, and an emotional impact that proves very difficult to shake off.(For another view of Ice, see L. Timmel Duchamp's essay from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.)
Also in this issue of Strange Horizons is my latest column. This one is about Guy Davenport's story "Belinda's World Tour" (available in A Table of Green Fields and The Death of Picasso). The column is a sort of companion piece to my previous one, continuing to look at the representation of historical figures in fiction.