Friday, May 27, 2016

Cottage Country, by David K. Yeh

(Modern Fantasy) Pete buys some land far enough back in the country that he's prepared for wolves or even bears, and he carries silver bullets for a different threat. (5,800 words)

Rating: 3, Unremarkable

"," by appeared in the May 2016 issue of Apex Magazine (Issue 84), published .

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

Pro: It's an interesting idea that the sidhe came to the New World with the other immigrants, but that they went bad because the native spirits wouldn't accept them. We're told early that Pete has a lot of native ancestors, which nicely explains why he can communicate with the forest spirits and why they help him.

The flashbacks to Pete's time with his grandfather do a nice job of telling us how Pete knows the things he does and where the money to buy the property came from, but they also make Pete a very sympathetic character. When the sidhe attacks him at the end in the form of a little girl, we don't expect him to be able to fire, and this creates enormous tension. We're relieved when he doesn't find a mark on her--it's as though she wanted to die and fell on her knife on purpose.

In addition to fixing his problem with the hostile sidhe, Pete seems to have bonded with the land and the creatures in it. A nice ending, albeit somewhat bittersweet.

We know he's in Northeastern Ontario because the Wanapitei River is the eastern edge of his property.

Con: With all the talk of dancing with the sidhe, I had expected something a bit more human-acting. Instead the thing just charges Pete like a wild animal. It's a bit of a cheat that Pete has a grimoire and knows how to use it--did he study witchcraft in college?

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