Friday, February 10, 2017

Gravity's Exile, by Grace Seybold

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(High Fantasy) Jeone has been descending the World Cliff for years, but she's never seen a town quite as strange as Shasten Dhu. (9,088 words; Time: 30m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Creative, Exciting, and Satisfying

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 219, published on .

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

Pro: The World Cliff itself makes for a fascinating setting. An apparently infinite stair-step, with horizontal banks of clouds dividing it into different zones. In places, the steps are wide enough for villages and even cities, but the challenge of climbing (up or down) limits traffic.

Jeone left home to explore, and, by all accounts, she's been at it for many years. She's even survived a terminal-velocity fall. Her fight with the lizards leaves her short on supplies, so she can't just skip past Shasten Dhu, hence she needs to figure it out.

And that she does. Overcoming each challenge until she finally chases the Birds away and restores the town to normal. In the meantime, there's all sorts of action and tension and unexpected events.

By the end, all the little mysteries get resolved. E.g. Where are the missing men? The birds are using them presumably as sperm donors, mixing in a bit of bird DNA each time.

Her adventure complete, Jeone continues down the mountain. We'd love to hear more of her.

Con: Jeone is completely unchanged by her adventure. None of the other characters has any substance, hence there's no emotional payoff.

It's a little weird that she can get steel pitons, since the technology level of the civilization seems to be very low otherwise.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 219)
Grace Seybold Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Wow, what a creative setting! I hope there'll be more Jeone stories. There are certainly hints that there could be.