Friday, September 8, 2017

A Pound of Darkness, a Quarter of Dreams, by Tony Ballantyne

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(Historical Fantasy) Miss Scales supplies her shop from Keswick’s, but today they’ve sent her a new account representative, and he’s really the salesman from Hell. (5,609 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Clever, Intense, and Sweet

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 88, published on .

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

Pro: There’s plenty of tension in Miss Scales's struggle to save her shop and her soul.

There's probably something symbolic in the fact that they each end up asking three questions, but the irony is that the demon loses because of underestimating the value of its own soul.

Con: The story is a harmless bit of fun, but there’s nothing more to it than that. No deeper meanings or extra plot complications.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. It may be a bit of fun, but it's an excellent piece - we get Miss Scales character, some teasing back story, and a nicely tense but clever confrontation.

    1. I was on the fence about this one. I settled at three stars when I tried to write the review and couldn't find a whole lot to say beyond "it was a fun read."

  2. Pretty slick. She convinces the demon he has a soul and provides him a chance at redemption. Saving his soul too in a way.