Friday, December 9, 2016

The Right Bright Courier, by Anaea Lay

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(High Fantasy) A Bright Courier arrives at the Palace of Abandoned Dreams, where many come to collect the package, but none ever returns. (2,300 words; Time: 07m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 194, published on .

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

Pro: The story is complete; the courier attempts the package, fails, and is trapped there forever.

Con: It's rather difficult to understand why all of this happened or even why the courier abandoned Gwen and Artie.  "Some challenges are not there to be answered" is a rather unsatisfying answer.

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6 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I can't say I really understand the message here, but nonetheless I found the story beautiful and touching.

  2. Looking at other reviews, I notice one reviewer assumed "he," another "she," while you and one other I saw stayed gender neutral. I had also assumed she...because I'm female? because I believe the author is female? a little of both? I don't know. But apparently the story must never actually indicate.

    1. When a story doesn't give me the name and/or gender of a character in the first few paragraphs, I always mark it in the text when something finally gives it away. When I do the review, if I find nothing marked, then I know the author never revealed that information, and I write the review accordingly. At least, that's what I try to do. (Sometimes I miss it anyway.)

      I've learned that if a story is written in first person, I have a very strong tendency to assume that the gender of the character matches the gender of the author. I figured this out when I read a story by a male author but with a female character, and struggled for quite a while before I could make myself suspend disbelief for it. I didn't penalize the story for it, of course, but I've tried to be aware of it since then.

    2. Definitely a good thing to keep in mind especially with more writers expressing different ideas about gender.

    3. For a more difficult example, read The Last Hunt, Vylar Kaftan, a really wonderful story with rather unusual gender issues.

    4. Thanks for the recommendation. The author has posted it on her website: