Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blood, Ash, Braids, by Genevieve Valentine

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(Alternate History) The Russians in WWII recruit women to fly crop dusters against the Germans, who call them "witches." (4,800 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in Operation Arcana (RSR review), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The story is well-written, and it largely revolves around the narrator's desire that her team survive this suicide mission. We're never sure whether the narrator has real magic or just imagines that she does, but that's okay if we think of this as an alternate history story, not a military fantasy tale.

Con: The stakes in the story aren't very high; one single Russian operation in the middle of the war. The ending, where the character writes of her own death, is grating.

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