Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Stone War, by Ted Kosmatka

Find this issue
(Fantasy) From prehistoric times, the stone man crouched on a hill. Every now and then a person would find it and try to get it to do something. But to succeed was to die. (8,464 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended
Recommended By: SFRevu:5

"The Stone War," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|16, published on by .

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

Pro: The lead up is just perfect. By the time the emissaries of the king arrive, we know what's going to happen to them. The twist that the stone man can target the one who ordered an attack is both amusing and satisfying. The new king's advisers attempt  to make a scientific study of the stone man is even more amusing.

The story really gets started when we meet Marliada. Her efforts (with the new king) to figure out how to use the stone man in warfare are entertaining, but the topper is when the neighboring kingdom turns out to have its own stone man and they reach a peace of mutual assured destruction.

In the end, Marliada serves the kingdom two ways. First, she kills the old king when he decides to go to war despite the stone men. Second, she gives her life by willingly striking the stone man in front of the new king.

Con: It's a great tale, but the plot is rather thin.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|16)
Ted Kosmatka Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)