Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Iron Eels, by Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis

★★★★☆ Keeps you on the edge of your seat

(Military Fantasy Thriller) Because of his service during the war, the army calls Herlki back into service to help with the cleanup after an explosion at a nearby magic refinery threatens to turn some of his neighbors into monsters. (7,583 words; Time: 25m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 283, published on .

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

Review: 2019.416 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Plenty of tension in this one. Fleeing is dangerous, but so is staying, and as time goes by, the risk of staying gets greater and greater. Hrelki’s plan for escaping is fraught with peril for him and his family, but it’s full of excitement.

It’s gut clenching that he sacrifices the lives of a dozen young men to save his family, and the rationalization that they’re all doomed anyone doesn’t entirely satisfy—not even him. It makes all kinds of sense that he’s never happy in his exile. He has saved his family, but he has paid a price for that.

Con: Why didn’t the government simply evacuate the village? Why doesn’t Herlki at least ask that they be evacuated?

The villagers seemed way too eager to kill themselves. In real disasters, I think that’s pretty rare; people tend to cling to life to the last minute even in much worse situations than this one.

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