Monday, September 12, 2016

Not a Miracle But a Marvel, by Tim Pratt

(Modern Fantasy) Two couples come to a cabin by the lake to relax and enjoy four days together. Then one of them disappears. (6,252 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★★☆, Recommended

"," by , appeared in Uncanny Magazine issue 12, published on

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

Pro: The angle that in a polyamorous group, all three of the other partners get to challenge the fairy for the possession of Gregory is cute. The exasperated reaction of the fairy when she learns that even the narrator has a romantic claim is hysterical.

The waffle iron makes a curious "Chekhov's Gun," in that it gets talked about so much and with such reverence earlier in the story, that there's something satisfying that it's the tool that brings the fairy down.

At first I wondered why they bothered with playing the game at all, given that they ended up just using brute force, but it's actually very reasonable that they started off with the idea of winning the game but only resorted to force when all seemed lost. Anyway, the fairy admitted that she hadn't let Gregory know the stakes of the game when he bet with her, so obviously there was no need to pay fair with her either.

Con: Some of the prose falls flat, including all of the narrator's jokes. I don't mean the jokes themselves fall flat--they're intended to; I mean the narration/dialogue seems unnatural at those points. Ditto the scene where Gregory observes that this means the narrator loves him.

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