Diabolical Plots #65, July 2020
“Minutes Past Midnight” by Mark Rivett
“Bring the Bones That Sing” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
Readers have a choice between superhero fiction and fantasy in this month’s issue.
The main character in “Minutes Past Midnight” by Mark Rivett has superhuman strength and moves with extreme speed. When nuclear war breaks out, she travels the world, destroying missiles before launching. Because she cannot fly, she faces a seemingly impossible task when a warhead, already in the air, heads for Los Angeles.
Appropriately, the story moves at a breakneck pace. Written in a vivid style, the narrative effectively conveys the protagonist’s desperate attempt to save the world. Some readers may find the conclusion disappointing.
In “Bring the Bones That Sing” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, the skeletons of birds arrive on the porch of a young girl’s grandmother. When the child touches one of them, she is able to communicate with the dead animal. She discovers the bird’s failed mission, learns the true nature of her grandmother, and undergoes a strange journey in order to complete the bird’s quest.
The author shows great imagination, creating a fantasy world unlike most others. The tone of the story varies from magic realism to high fantasy to surrealism. The different styles of narration do not always fit together smoothly.
Victoria Silverwolf ate a dessert made with tobacco tonight.