Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Crafter at the Web's Heart, by Izzy Wasserstein

★★★★☆ Fantastic World Building

(Fantasy Thriller) Danae’s mom has turned into a plant, and she’s hard up for cash, so she takes a risky delivery job from a guy who’s turning into a book. (6,100 words; Time: 20m)

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 117, published on .

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

Review: 2019.094 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: What’s outstanding about this story is the world building. In particular, I like the idea of a magic system that comes with a heavy cost. In this case, whatever you specialize in is what you’ll turn into. Danae’s mom turned into a plant, Pliny is turning into a book, etc.

The plot is pretty solid: Danae goes to deliver the book, gets attacked, tries to figure out what the attackers were up to and how to stop them. There are plenty of clues that Pliny will betray her, although it’s a bit of a surprise how powerful he is. There are also plenty of clues that Danae’s own specialization is spiders, so it’s not unexpected that she wins by becoming a spider forever.

One thing is for sure: those fly cultists definitely picked the wrong victim!

Danae herself is a solid, sympathetic character. She’s desperate, but not desperate enough to steal. She wants to do the right thing, and she’s willing to sacrifice to do it.

Favorite line: “Ma needed spraying for aphids.”

Con: Danae is the only 3-D character. Pliny is a bit better than cardboard, but not a lot.

The plot is complete, but a world this rich seems to be crying for more content set there.

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Izzy Wasserstein Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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