Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, October 2021
Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett
It’s been a long wait for fans of Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores. The last issue was in April of 2021, and this month they treated their fans to two new stories in the October release.
“The Omaha Zephyr” by Terri Karsten
Bryce has to get to Omaha to sell his grave-ringer in this spooky horror short. After sleeping, he boards the Omaha Zephyr, ignoring warnings from a friendly passenger that he is on the wrong train.
It’s not long before he realizes that most of the people on the train are phantom-like. But no one will tell him what is happening. Then he reads the local paper.
The story lacked originality, and the prose wasn’t good enough to make up the deficit.
“Pumpkin Riders” by Steve Oden
The pumpkin tournament is coming up in this short fantasy, and Tucker will again defend his family’s honor. His giant fighting pumpkins have won most years, and despite his arch-enemy’s conniving, he plans to win both the tournament and the hand of the girl he loves.
On the day of the tournament, Tucker arrives at the arena and finds his enemy has brought two warring pumpkins, and a famous professional fighter is riding one of them. Tucker’s girlfriend is there too, but she will be fighting for herself. Tucker faces two-to-one odds, plus a need to protect his friend.
The story was a curious view of the Halloween pumpkin patch, though the story would have benefited from one or two twists in the pumpkin vines at the end of the story.
You can follow Kevin P Hallett’s writing on www.kevinphallett.com