Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Weight of the Dead, by Brian Hodge cover image
(Post Apocalypse) Melody's father pays the price for murder--exile with the corpse of his victim chained to his back. Despite the risks, she's willing to do anything to help him. (15,276 words)

Rating: 3, Powerful, but hard to believe.

"The Weight of the Dead," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), was published on by .

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

Pro: The nature of the village, the attitudes of the people, and the situation of Melody's father are all shown vividly. Melody's sacrifice of her brother is both logical and extremely painful.

Technical note: In this story, civilization was destroyed by a coronal mass ejection. In the context of the story, all of civilization was wiped out, but in reality, the amount of damage would drop off away from the point of impact and away from the magnetic poles. In 2015, the US adopted regulations to minimize the impact of a future CME.

Con: This starts out as an SF story, but it seems to verge into fantasy at the end. The people with the spirit of the forest sound a lot like the fairy-folk from legend, which makes for an unsatisfying ending.

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