Mysterion, October 2022
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
“Heretic” by e. rathke takes place in a fantasy world with multiple suns and moons. A man from our own world, transported here in an unexplained fashion, finds his Christian faith strengthened by his ordeal. He tries to return to his home in a desperate manner.
Much of this story consists of a conversation between a woman of the fantasy world and the man. They discuss multiple realities and the beings that can cross the veils between them. They also talk about gods and God. This dialogue deals with major philosophical issues, and offers a touch of characterization, but seems a little artificial.
I have not described what the man does in the latter part of the narrative because the impact of the story depends almost entirely on the revelation of his action. It might be seen as the ultimate gesture of faith or as sheer madness. Lacking a definitive ending, the text allows readers to make their own decisions. Some may wish for a more explicit conclusion.
Victoria Silverwolf wrote this review on Hallowe’en.