Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sea of Dreams, by Alter S. Reiss

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(High Fantasy) Exiled emperor Ierois lives alone on the shore of the Sea of Dreams. Then another exile joins him--a boy who refuses to give up quite so easily. (2,829 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: RHorton:4

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 196, published on .

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

Pro: We have trouble deciding which of them is right about the armor: is it another illusion, or is it the real thing? When the sailors take Artois from the shore to their boat, we realize he was right after all--unless Artois himself was a dream.

At a deeper level, when Artois observes that the sailors would "see the dream for the truth that it is," he's commenting on the fact that political power is also a shared dream. When Ierois asks, "how do you think that my scepter of office became a length of wood," he's referring to the fact that he lost his crown because too many people ceased believing in him.

Con: Ierois is a very passive protagonist. Artois does all the work.

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Alter S. Reiss Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. It's fitting that Ierois is passive since he no longer believes in dreams. No one ever does anything without imagining it first and believing it into existence. If Artois was a dream too, then Ierois hasn't given up hope after all. In fact, he's dreaming bigger than ever and may get off that island yet. I love that the ending could be hopeful or bleak depending on what way the reader chooses to look at it.