Steffi wrote the first draft of this story at Clarion last summer, and after a couple of pages I put my pen down and forgot I was supposed to be critiquing because I was so engrossed by it.  Steffi has a gift for marrying the mundane to the unsettling, and while this story of parasitic friendship and mental collapse in recently reunified Germany is among the most naturalistic she wrote last summer, fantastic imagery intrudes as a pseudo-authorial voice in a way that is deeply creepy and utterly brilliant.  I have been eagerly awaiting getting to see this story again, and now Conjunctions has had the wisdom to publish it.  Go read Stefani Nellen’s “Tentacle Mind Report.”