Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, January 2018
“Ice” by Diana Silver
Reviewed by Kat Day
This month Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores contains just one story, “Ice,” by Diana Silver. It tells the story of Edmund Hawkings, the son of a polar explorer who, we learn, died on the ice years ago. Now on a polar expedition himself, Edmund is desperate to find his father’s final camp. He becomes lost outside, at the mercy of the elements, and meets a sort of storm spirit. Once I got past the slightly confusing references (surely Edmund’s name references the mountaineer and polar explorer, Edmund Hillary—but it was famously Lawrence Oates who disappeared after leaving his tent and walking into a blizzard during Scott’s South Pole expedition) I began to enjoy this story. The storm spirit is particularly engaging—something that can be difficult to achieve with non-human characters. The conflict and peril are handled well, and I was left with a real sense of the unforgiving conditions. My only quibble is with the character of Stevens, the expedition leader, who appears to exist purely to explain what’s going on. I couldn’t help feeling the story would have been stronger without any significant contribution from him. Overall, though, this is well worth a read.
Kat Day makes children handle fire and dangerous chemicals for a living (it’s okay, she’s a chemistry teacher). When not doing that, she spends her time writing and trying to wrangle her own two children into line (without fire or dangerous chemicals, because that would be frowned upon). She has had a short story published in Daily Science Fiction and has another upcoming in 24 Stories, an anthology to raise money for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. You can follow her on Twitter @chronicleflask