Saturday, July 27, 2019

Gert of the Hundred, by L.S. Johnson

★★★★☆ Really Creeps up on You

(Flintlock Fantasy Horror) The village people suffer from the Duke’s construction of the big tower, and even thought the villagers disapprove of her, old Gert can’t help doing things for the little children who come to her for aid. (9,159 words; Time: 30m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 282, published on .

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

Review: 2019.403 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This story operates on a couple of different levels. It’s about Gert’s attempt to help the village children and the children of the workers. It’s about her uncovering what’s really going on at the construction site. It’s about vengeance, but it’s also about letting go.

The extent to which the builders want to keep their mining operation secret tells us that they fear some source of justice somewhere. That helps make the ending seem a lot more reasonable.

From the way the spider goddess maimed Henry and drove him away we also know, early on, that she’s just as cruel as master as the Overseer. She saved Gert from the mass grave, but the vengeance she seeks is for herself, not Gert.

Nicholas’s sad end is tragic and heartbreaking, and it underlines just how evil the Overseer’s operation really is.

So the spider goddess gets her revenge, and Gert pays whatever debt she owed in full. She’s free, she and Henry can be together, and it looks like there may be justice for Nicholas and the villagers after all.

Con: If Henry had the clout to get action from the capitol, why did he need to wait until the spider attack? That part seemed a little too easy.

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