Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, April 2023

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, April 2023

“Soul Arbitration” by Rustin Lovewell

Reviewed by David Wesley Hill

In “Soul Arbitration” by Rustin Lovewell, the April offering of Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Umma awakes upon a stone seat in a surreal “liminal” space. The task before her is to arbitrate between three deities, all rulers of their respective underworlds: Hel, Hades, and Osiris. Each god is claiming the same soul, the soul of a mortal woman, a merchant trader, who had apparently worshiped them all during different periods of her life. As Umma listens to the immortals bickering among themselves, she slowly begins to realize that the person in question might not be a nameless stranger but someone actually quite well known to her, and that the decision she makes could have very personal implications… An entertaining eschatological dialectic, reminiscent of the clever stories of L. Sprague de Camp. Recommended.