Sunday, June 9, 2019

Silver Springs, by T.R. North

★★★☆☆ Average

(Alternate History Fantasy) In an alternate 1930s, a young thief’s family takes her to Florida in hopes that making the right offering to mermaids will take away her predilection to steal. (7,898 words; Time: 26m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 279, published on .

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

Review: 2019.329 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: From the mention of Elliot Ness and Prohibition, we can guess this is set in the late 1920s or early 1930s, and we can assume that the narrator is a white teenage girl, since Florida was heavily segregated back then. She’s looking for a cure for kleptomania, essentially, but she’s also wishing for a way to leave home and be on her own.

She may be a thief, but she actually cares about the mermaids. Her first wish was about herself, but the other two are both to the benefit of the mermaids, so it’s no surprise they want to help her.

Con: The ending is a bit odd; I’m not sure many people would want to leave home to live in a hot, humid swamp with a mermaid—even with a pile of silver coins. And are she and the mermaid going to be lovers now? (I guess she did say she wanted to quit being attracted to boys.)

The wishing mechanism seems a bit too powerful; at first we’re told it can only free you of your sins, but later it seems the narrator can just wish for anything and it’ll come true. If this outcome really was what the protagonist wanted, it seems she got it at no real cost.

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