Strange Horizons, July 9 & 16, 2012

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Strange Horizons, July 9 & 16, 2012

“Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints” by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Reviewed by Chuck Rothman

Strange Horizons goes with a longer story in mid-July, breaking “Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints” over two weeks.  It’s a story about a race of fox-human hybrids who are out to reclaim their past after it has been stolen from them.  Jiresh goes on a mission into the city of Caa, stolen from the fox people by humans years ago, in order to recover the bones of the saints Nishir and Aree.  It’s a dangerous mission on an unforgiving landscape and the story focuses on the triumph and tragedy of the mission.  I found a lot about the story to be somewhat formless and it left me with plenty of questions, notably a need for a clearer understanding of the background of the fox people.  But Nishir is a well-drawn character (notable in her impulsiveness) and the story reads like a well-worn legend.  Alex Dally MacFarlane creates a fascinating society and the deliberately sketchy background does not hinder the story in the slightest.

Chuck Rothman recently sold “The Last Dragon Slayer” to the anthology Unidentified Funny Objects.