And on to day two! Look at that, a Cat Rambo story ripe for the plucking from the vine. It’s delicious fruit, but also dangerous fruit. A fruit with a trap inside, just beneath the words. Check here, check this out, go read it and come back so we can discuss it-
I chose this story because the first sentence called out to me. I chose this story because the first paragraph pulled me along. And I chose this story because it was the first story I received that made stand tall and shout- YES. This is it. It’s one of those things when you have an idea for a concept in your head, but another when another person somewhere elsewhere picks it up and goes okay, here it is then. Here you go.
Cat Rambo has done a lot of great stories over the years, and I’ve been a huge fan for only Loki knows how long. It’s amazing to me it’s been nine years since Grendelsong went to sleep. It’s been probably just as long that I’ve been reading her work, way back with Strange Horizons, and her editorial awesomeness at Fantasy Magazine. Not to mention the cool short story I read of hers in Weird Tales that felt like a secondary world fantasy that was more American Colonial and less Middle Ages Europe. Which is to say, all awesome stuff. I’ve even worked with her before in the past, with the Hatter Bones anthology.
So, when she sent me something I knew it was going to be good. But I didn’t realize how damned good it would be. Short? Yes. But sometimes length is a burden, and this story shoulders its length and carries the distance, each word pulling double and triple duty and leaving a world behind the scenes. You get a feeling of scope when reading it, like you are on the tip of something but there is a lot going on below the surface, just out of sight. You want to see, but all those words are blocking your way.
There are fantastic lines that means so much. “My faith is cobwebs”. Trying to heal a wheel. The rudimentary of magic, the workmanship of it all. And then there is the witch in the bird-legged hut. An obvious reference to Baba Yaga, but everyone knows, any story with a Baba Yaga reference is a great grand story.
The road itself feels like an ouroboros – a snake-like winding thing that devours it’s own tail. You have a feeling of infinity. You have so much more than that.
Like Berit’s essay this too is a gateway. Berit was the threshold into the magazine, but this is the first step into fiction. And as such, it is door, open, pushing you through.
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