“What the Thunder Said” by Lavie Tidhar
“How the Mermaid Lost Her Song” by Mark Teppo
“Ferryman’s Reprieve” by Kate Bachus
“Fella Down A Hole: Unlikely Patron Saints, No. 2” by Amy Sisson
“Painted” by Becca De La Rosa is an urban fantasy about the fey Loretta. Silent saboteur in the art museums, she attempts to free the depicted representations of herself from the confines of their canvases. Her friends think she’s schizophrenic or anorexic or drug-ridden or several of the above, but she thinks she has a mission. “Painted” is what happens when Charles de Lint’s characters go mad, gently insane, the knots of sanity loosening so that the strange winds of insight can flutter through them.
Mark Teppo’s “How the Mermaid Lost Her Song” revisits Hans Christian Andersen’s tale about the little mermaid. Merging Andersen’s sweet, sad, sadistic story with the equally bleak themes of the supernatural wife and her enforced transformation from beast to human, Teppo makes something new, evocative. Unfortunately, the tale’s longing atmosphere is dampened [hah] by an infodump-turned-character, Phreniwit, who summarizes the plot, instead of letting it happen, then slaps us over the head with the themes.