Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Air of the Overworld, by Matthew Hughes

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Fantasy Adventure; Baldemar) The young henchman’s new master keeps wanting to use him for experiments involving ways to get to the afterlife without having to die first. Hopefully. (11,125 words; Time: 37m)

This story depends on the reader already being familiar with numerous events in the earlier Baldemar stories.

"Air of the Overworld," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.043 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: As ever, the big attraction of these stories is the puzzle to solve, which in this case is figuring out just what the rules for the Overworld are. The second attraction is Baldemar himself, who reacts so calmly to everything, and, when frustrated, simply tries a different plan. E.g. when Radegonde says, “I’m going to cast a spell upon you,” Baldemar merely asks, “What kind of spell?”

I was particularly tickled to learn the actual fate of the magicians who managed to “cheat” and get to the Overworld without dying first. Very apropos.

Con: The solution is a bit of a deus ex machina; it helps to have friends in high places, I guess.

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Matthew Hughes Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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