Thursday, June 27, 2019

Many-Hearted Dog and Heron Who Stepped Past Time, by Alex Yuschik

[Strange Horizons]
★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Fantasy Time Travel) Two top-notch time-travelling assassins get an assignment to expose a corrupt aristocrat by killing a magistrate and later bringing her back from the land of the dead. (5,869 words; Time: 19m)

"," by (edited by Vanessa Rose Phin), appeared in issue 06/17/19, published on .

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

Review: 2019.377 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Superficially, the plot is about Dog and Heron pulling off this assignment; temporarily killing the magistrate so lady Aiko thinks she can get away with seizing the port, resurrecting her so he can bring her to justice, and collecting their fee.

But there’s a deeper story, involving the nature of the relationship between Dog and Heron. Dog anchors Heron’s time travelling, which can cause sweeping changes to reality. They’re partners, not lovers, but they do take care of each other.

Con: Wouldn’t it have just been easier to fake the magistrate’s death?

This story is so confusing for so long that it’s exhausting to read. This makes it impossible to have any kind of tension, because we’re never sure exactly what Heron is capable of or what their vulnerabilities are.

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