Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Short Fiction Wednesday...plus Happy New Year!

I've been traveling (and recovering from travels) but now I'm back. I hope everyone had good holidays and wish everyone a happy new year.

I'm still behind the most recent short fiction, but I've been catching up, and two that I read during my travels especially stood out for me for their interesting settings.

Matthew Johnson's "Holdfast" in Fantasy Magazine tells the story of a land where rhymes and simple spells--and most importantly, knots--hold real power, if performed correctly. Even more, it's the story of a person who has chosen that his deeply magical connection to his land is more important than whatever acclaim he might earn by leaving the place and becoming a famous wizard. I could see Wendell Berry enjoying the story, though I can't say I could see him writing it, per se.

"A Bounty Split Three Ways" by Peter Kovic (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) is a well-realized story of a country bumpkin sort who has decided to become a bounty hunter in order to pay a wizard a fee he'd promised, knowing he had no way to pay. No one thing stood out for why I enjoyed this story, but I just liked how it all worked together.

Looking up the link to that one, I remembered another Beneath Ceaseless Skies story that I'd read earlier while traveling and enjoyed a lot: "As Below, So Above" by Ferrett Steinmetz. This is the story of a squid (always good to get the cephalopods involved), the story of a monster whose job is to protect an evil wizard, written completely from his point of view and with his understanding of who and what humans are.

5 comments:

Matthew Johnson said...

Glad you liked the story, Daniel -- and thanks for the comparison!

Daniel Ausema said...

Very welcome, Matthew. Thanks for stopping by!

Peter said...

Thanks for reading my story! As a published writer yourself, is there anywhere you recommend that I take more stories like "ABS3W?" I'm always interested in finding more markets.

Daniel Ausema said...

Hey, Peter. Sorry I missed this comment when you posted it. If you happen to stop back, Abyss & Apex might be worth trying with more stories in that vein. Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Fantasy Magazine are always favorites of mine (along with BCS), so it's worth looking to see how a given story would fit those places. Each has its own feel, so...you know. Some stories won't seem right at one or another.

There are lots of smaller press markets on Ralan.com, but these are the ones I'd look at first.

Peter said...

That's very helpful. Thanks again!