Piercing the Veil by Mason Ian Bundschuh

Piercing the Veil by Mason Ian Bundschuh
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

“Do you” really “want to know what s on the other side? ”

Simon is a brilliant grad student eager to get ahead. So when a professor offers him a secret research position at a cutting-edge lab on the cusp of proving an impossible theory, Simon thinks it s a dream come true. But the math doesn t add up and the other technicians working the graveyard shift don t seem quite right somehow.

When students start disappearing from Simon s university, he realizes there may be a horrible connection to the research at the lab. He suspects his coworkers may not be entirely human after all. And the disappearances are getting closer to home.

Sometimes a thin line is all that separates an ordinary day from a baffling one.

Simon’s arrogance and tendency to judge others harshly made it difficult for me to like him, but his personality is so well-described in this short story that I couldn’t wait to find out what happens to him next. His positive qualities help to round him out as a protagonist. While I wouldn’t necessarily want to meet him, Simon is well-rounded and a good choice as the audience’s guide through this particular tale.

I never quite understood why it took Simon so long to pick up on certain clues. He’s an intelligent, meticulous man who has strong opinions about many different topics. Simon also seems to have formed an excellent mental map of his surroundings. While the pacing itself was well done, it would have been helpful for this reader to have a better explanation of why Simon overlooked so many clues that seemed like they should have been more obvious to a man with his background.

Certain short stories expect a lot from the readers, and this is one of them. Physics references are common and most of them are not explained by the time the plot moves on to the next scene. While some clues are provided, they also require some work in order to reveal their secrets. Given the subject matter this was a good decision, though, and I truly enjoyed putting all of the pieces together.

Piercing the Veil stretched my mind. This is a great choice for anyone in the mood for something clever.

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