cover image Green Fuse Burning

Green Fuse Burning

Tiffany Morris. Stelliform, $15.99 trade paper (108p) ISBN 978-1-77809-266-4

Morris (Elegies of Rotting Stars) quietly dazzles and disquiets in this weird horror novella starring Rita Francis, a landscape painter struggling with the death of her distant Mi’kmaq father. Her connection to Mi’kmaq language, land, and culture died with him, and her grief leaves her unable to paint. Then her girlfriend, Molly, forges her application to an artist residency on the lake where Rita’s father grew up. Now isolated in a cabin in strangely familiar woods, Rita is forced to confront her loss and her own imagination—and the horrifying sense of death she feels emanating from the lake. Each chapter is introduced with a vivid description of one of Rita’s paintings, setting the tone in a clever and effective way. Poetic and grotesque imagery (a dead body is described as “a limp assembly of limbs, heavy with the absence of story”) drives the novella’s horror, with fluid narration fostering a sense of disconnect and dread. Generational trauma, Indigenous identity, and the ever-present fear of climate crisis give depth to Rita’s character and her relationship with the natural (and supernatural) world. This is a subtle and refreshing twist on the cabin in the woods trope. (Oct.)