Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Across the Bough Bridge, by Mackenzie Kincaid

★★★★☆ Memorable Story in an Interesting Setting

(Portal Fantasy) A woman calling herself Hawthorn crosses the bridge to Faery with a list of tasks she needs to accomplish. She knows how dangerous it is, but her need is great. (7,719 words; Time: 25m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 281, published on .

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

Review: 2019.382 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Unusually, this seems to be a portal fantasy from a Steampunk world into a High Fantasy world.

A good bit of the charm of the story is figuring out what her purpose is. Another charm is simply exploring the fairy world, where everything is about bargains.

Like a good fairy story, things happen in threes: Hawthorn (aka Josina) must make three purchases: a chamber fruit for a heart, wood cuttings for the framework of the body, and moonstones for the eyes. Then she must collect three ingredients: she collects clay to hold together the body and make the organs, she collects the roots of a plant to make the nerves, and she and her wife add their own blood.

In a cute way, the story reverses the stories about fairies stealing human children. Here a human goes to Faery to get the ingredients to create a child.

It’s possible there’s a richer story here. E.g. that this symbolizes how mothers make big sacrifices for children who’ll leave them one day.

Con: It seems a little strange that they’re doing this. There are much easier ways to create a new infant.

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Mackenzie Kincaid Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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