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

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #252, May 24, 2018

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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #252, May 24, 2018

The Wild Ride of the Untamed Stars” by A. J. Fitzwater

The Ghostpotion Games” by Christian K. Martinez

Reviewed by Rebecca DeVendra

The Wild Ride of the Untamed Stars” by A. J. Fitzwater starts with the intrigue of a court filled with fairies and rodents prepping for a race to catch a falling star. The rodent racers all pledge to take the Queen’s hand if they manage victory. This story combines the tropes of a fairy court fantasy (Think Holly Black’s Cruel Prince or Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) with the charm of something like David Petersen’s Mouse Guard. The ending is an unexpectedly sweet resolution, albeit not unmerited, with a whirlwind narrative full of fast-paced racing and strange creatures.

The Ghostpotion Games” by Christian K. Martinez is about a game played by chemists who concoct their own players. Erinia is making carpenter as her player, forging his soul with her chosen ingredients so that she might direct him through a maze and win the Wish. The game has many twists and turns and sinister characters, and winning the Wish is not quite what it seems…but it’s too late. The story is original and intriguing, and besides a few pacing issues it delivers.


Rebecca DeVendra is a figure artist and speculative fiction writer living in Boston. Her fiction can be found at Starship Sofa. She's also a mom to three cacophonous, early-rising children. She's probably in her pajamas, but she has an emergency collar shirt for video calls. Check out her blog.