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

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #264, November 8, 2018

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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #264, November 8, 2018

In the Ground, Before the Freeze” by Margaret Ronald

The Hollow Tree” by Jordan Kurella

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

The 264th issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies has two original short stories.

In the Ground, Before the Freeze” by Margaret Ronald

Katrin is one of a handful of mountain women in this short fantasy/horror story. The mountain is a harsh environment and part of each mountain woman’s survival is the planting of their mountain husband before the first frost.

When Katrin rescues a lowland man with a broken leg, she nurses him back to health, but while during so falls in love with the man who is ill-equipped for mountain life. Can she find a way to survive the harsh winter without planting him before the freeze?

The plot was mysterious and nicely structured. The story read quickly with an ending that left the reader thinking.

The Hollow Tree” by Jordan Kurella

In this short fantasy, Pira’s abusive father hurts her mother every day, causing their last two children to be stillborn. But everyone else in their town believes he is a good and just man.

Pira has heard of the fairies from the Hollow Tree who will help if the cause and the price is right. After so many years of abuse with no end in sight, Pira decides to try for a magical solution.

The story prose was nicely written, but the plot offered nothing new for the fantasy genre.