cover image The Two Doctors Górski

The Two Doctors Górski

Isaac Fellman. Tordotcom, $16.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-84093-6

Set in a fictional British university on par with Oxbridge, this dark, tactile novella from Lambda Award winner Fellman (Dead Collections) seamlessly weaves inventive magic into a recognizable world of brutally competitive academia. The two doctors of the title are Dr. Marec Górski, a once-renowned magician who has faded from the public eye after making a homunculus from the better parts of himself, and the homunculus himself, Dr. Ariel Górski, who now works as a therapist and yoga instructor. Fellman flips the Frankenstein story of scientist and creation on its head: in creating Ariel, who is kind, charming, and empathetic—all things Marec wanted to rid himself of in hopes of becoming a more focused magician—Marec has made himself into a monster. The relationship between the two is fascinating and thorny, leading into an exploration of queer monstrosity that is more overt in Fellman’s rendition than in Mary Shelley’s original. Readers encounter the doctors through the eyes of Annae, a student of Marec’s who, as a mind reader and a magician, proves the perfect vessel to bring questions of morality to the fore as she, like Marec before her, discovers the disturbing extent of her magic’s capabilities. Though brief, this brilliant, haunting tale packs a powerful punch. (Nov.)