Monday, November 4, 2019

The Star Plague, by Rich Larson

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Historical Fantasy Horror) The glare from a falling meteor leaves Bragi temporarily blind, but the local monks nurse him back to health—just in time to learn that the “meteor” brought something much worse than blindness. (11,927 words; Time: 39m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 289, published on .

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

Review: 2019.595 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Bragi is an outlawed Viking in England in 795 AD (if we assume Bragi is talking about the raid on Lindisfarne when he tells Symond how evil he is). The “falling star” is obviously either an alien craft or something infected with an alien disease.

But this isn’t a science-fiction story so much as a zombie story with a hand-wave to science, much like monster movies of the 1950s. Except that it’s set in Dark-Age England and stars a Viking.

Ultimately this is the story of what Bragi did to repay the monks for saving him, but much of the fun of the story is Bragi’s character and his interactions with the young priest, Symond. They genuinely like each other, even though they also confuse each other.

The ending recalls Beowulf, and how, having killed Grendel, the hero has to kill the monster’s much-more-powerful mother.

Con: The ending is unsatisfying. The Beowulf allusion leads us to believe Bragi pulls this off, but common sense suggests they all simply died.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Rich Larson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)