“Solitude can be a good thing sometimes, when you require quiet time to catch up on your thoughts and sort them, like sugar being sifted through a sieve. There’s a difference between solitude and being lonely though. The first one depicts self-sufficiency as you set out along your own path without company. The other denotes a variety of emotions, all of them bordering on insecurity, pain, unease, perhaps even fear.”

-Lorena Foreman and Carol Weekes – The Lonely Place (Canadian Tales of the Fantastic)

Quote – Solitude Versus Loneliness

Immortal Complacency

A review of Billie Milholland’s “Autumn Unbound” in The Puzzle Box (Edge, 2013)

Cover Photo of The Puzzle Box courtesy of Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Cover Photo of The Puzzle Box courtesy of Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

By Derek Newman-Stille

The stories in The Puzzle Box tackle the subject of a box that holds secrets and produces changes in the world. It therefore makes sense that Billie Milholland explores the mythical figure most connected to a box in her “Autumn Unbound”. Pandora, tied to Epimetheus by Zeus’ command, seeks to find her own life, wanting to separate herself from the bounds of her life. In seeking to become Pandora Unbound, she is cast into the mortal realm, reborn with a new identity, but still bound with the same chains of fate and relationship.

In her immortal life, she lived only a half life, chained to another, and only in her mortal life does she see the opportunity to live a full life, appreciating the small things in her world. Denied aging and choice, it is only as a mortal with a short span of years can she challenge and question things.

The immortal life creates a web of complacency with the way things are and a desire not the change or question the status quo. But, when Pandora submerges herself in mortality, the short span of years invests her with a desire to challenge things, to alter her own worldly context and stand up for her own needs and wishes.

To find out more about The Puzzle Box, visit Edge’s website at http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/puzzlebox/pzbox-catalog.html