Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, June 2017

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Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, June 2017

“Mistress Molly and Krell” by Jared VanDyke

“Conspiracy in Theory and Practice” by Mike Reeves-McMillan

Reviewed by Jason McGregor

Neither of the June stories from Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores (which were my first experiences with the zine) were indispensable, but both were decent reads.

“Mistress Molly and Krell” by Jared VanDyke

Some freaky football folks are out partying and have, for some reason, grabbed a random cooler laying around which happens to actually be the crash-landed spaceship of Krell, a not-so-intrepid explorer. She establishes psionic contact with one of the gang and interacts with Miss Molly who is both with and not with the guys. In the course of the story, we find out what they both want and whether they get it.

This will be a very familiar story to most readers but it’s not without some humor and is competently executed.

“Conspiracy in Theory and Practice” by Mike Reeves-McMillan

The setting is vague but, somewhere in the Anglosphere within a few decades of 1900, a believer and a skeptic arrive at a place the locals claim is the site where one of the fey folk appeared. The newcomers engage in a bit of investigation and a battle of wills, trying to sway the locals into belief or disbelief. But there’s more to it than that.

A simple “Conspiracy Practice” would probably have been a better title and, despite this story’s near flash-length brevity, it seems a bit labored—we understand the imperious skeptic is an imperious skeptic long before the story stops telling us, for instance—and the style teeters over the edge of “flavorful” to “mannered” but it does turn out to be a clever enough and pleasant enough minor tale.

More of Jason McGregor‘s reviews can be found on his Featured Futures blog.