Saturday, 4 November 2017

'The Insider'

Continuing my running review of Impostor Syndrome we come to Neil Williamson's tale of psychological horror.

It strikes me that all of the stories thus far have been timely, in that they deal with ideas or themes that are in the air. Folk horror, identity theft, the contentious history of empire and colonisation. 'The Insider' is also bang up to date with its subject of a Twitter troll who appears to have stolen the identity of an amiable company guy who never seems to get the promotions he deserves. But things are, as they say, not quite what they seem.

This is a concise, economical tale that pulls no punches in its depiction of what's become known as toxic masculinity. We see the self-assessed 'nice guy' who bigoted online from both sides. It's implicit that the modern corporate environment, and by extension the world is creates, is a swamp of resentment, fear, and dishonesty. Within this, Williamson implies, only the dark side of our natures can flourish. The better angels of our natures get clobbered every time. Well, that's what I took away from it.

So, another good one. This anthology is looking like one of the best I've seen this year. I wouldn't be surprised if award nominations and Best Of... inclusions follow in its wake. More soon.

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