Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Privilege of the Happy Ending, by Kij Johnson

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Dark Fantasy) In 12th-Century England, six-year-old Ada flees the vicious reptilian wastoures who swam the countryside eating people and animals alike. (15,501 words; Time: 51m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 143, published on .

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

Pro: Blanche is the real protagonist of this story; Ada is just a child who depends on Blanche’s advice.

Blanche saves Ada from the initial attack by telling her to build a rock pile to reach a branch and climb the tree. She guides her through the Unlucky Village, where things are so bad that people can’t be kind, to Lucky Village, where people take their good luck for granted, to the lair of the wastoures, where Blanche finally wipes them out for good.

Con: The metafiction doesn’t really add much to the story. Constant reminders that medieval England was an awful place are just distractions.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 143)
Kij Johnson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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