Friday, April 5, 2019

A Conch-Shell's Notes, by Shweta Adhyam

★★★☆☆ Average

(Fantasy Adventure) We learn the fates of three young villagers who follow the advice of the magic conch shell, which always offers two choices about the future and is never wrong. (2,563 words; Time: 08m)

"A Conch-Shell's Notes," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 107, published on .

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

Review: 2019.200 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of this story is the way the different threads come together such that hard work and honesty ends up rewarded:

Kwa is brave, and he doesn’t take the easy choices, so he beats the dragon and returns home a wealthy hero.

Var consistently make the honest choice, not the most self-interested one, and after a period of poverty, he ends up wealthy and becomes mayor.

Shai lies to Kwa and she hides her actions from Var, so she comes to an unhappy end.

Con: Shai talks about the conch singing of the men’s work and sacrifices, but, the story doesn't really show that; we only see it talking to individuals. Her actions at the end seem spiteful and shameful, and the whole story ends on a sour note.

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Shweta Adhyam Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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