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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #241, December 21, 2017

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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #241, December 21, 2017

Trette’s Bones” by Grace Seybold

Forever Night” by Dana Beehr

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

The 241st issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies has two original stories, one of which is a novelette.

Trette’s Bones” by Grace Seybold

Trette and her twin are bound to a ghost-like town in this fantasy novelette. All the town’s inhabitants must give up a bone when they reach adulthood. Most give a finger or a toe, but Trette gives a bone in her ear, leaving her dizzy and with strange visions.

Unable to function normally, Trette joins the Ossuary, the seat of the town’s bone collecting and the source of its special powers. Trette marches to a different drummer, and her special view of the world creates strife, and eventually rocks the very foundations of the town’s power.

The plot was interesting with some innovative ideas. Combined with engaging prose, this was a pleasant read.

Forever Night” by Dana Beehr

In this short fantasy, the Forever Night is once again sweeping over the land. Long ago, Elseir had defeated it with the help of a brave villager. Now Elseir’s granddaughter, and Thomas, the grandson of the brave villager, set off to defeat the spreading gloom.

Through the perpetual dark they make their way to the center and source of the darkness. Thomas has a role to play, but his grandfather never revealed what it was. Finally, at the source, Thomas learns what their fate will be.

The plot was slow, and the prose felt staccato. Overall the constant self-inspection of the main character made for an uninspiring read.