Thursday, May 2, 2019

On Stony Ground, by Cynthia Ward

★★★☆☆ Average

(Alternate History) In a world ruled by descendants of Alexander the Great, an engineer building a railroad through Palestine worries about a local preacher who seems to be preaching sedition. (3,463 words; Time: 11m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"On Stony Ground," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.234 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: If you sound out the Greek names for places, you ought to be able to recognize that the action is set in Capernaum, and if you look at the timeline, you’ll see this is about 30 AD by our calendar. The preacher that bothers her is obviously Jesus, and although I’m not sure who “Ananias son of Sethos” is, the other three people she’s talking to at the end are Caiaphas, Herod, and Pontius Pilate.

Con: There’s no actual plot to this story. The whole thing is a setup for the ending. But in an alternate history where there have been such major changes one would hardly expect to find the same people with the same names in roughly the same jobs 300 years later.

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