Strange Horizons, September 19, 2016
Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett
“Heroes” by Lavie Tidhar
Spit is a British agent in Tidhar’s short science fiction story. She hopes to capture Medicus as he leaves Eastern Berlin, and if not prevent any other power from getting him. Medicus, aka Fr. Johann, has a special ability – he can heal anyone just by touching them. But Medicus is a wanted man, exploited by the Russians, and the Western powers want him dead for war crimes or the chance to use him themselves. How can such a great hero also be a hated villain? Because his power can be used for good or exploited for evil.
At times a challenging read, it is a worthwhile one as the author introduces some interesting ideas. This is a thought provoking story.
“Dido, Retold” by A. T. Greenblatt
In this short fantasy, Dido has been cursed by the gods to fill-in all the cracks in the city. Endowed with magic, she’d created the cracks in a fit of anger when the gods took her lover away. Now she patrols the streets, followed by the gods’ observers, repairing the cracks.
She has told her tale of woe to anyone who’d listen, expecting the city to hail her as a hero once she’d fixed the last crack. But the gods can be fickle and when she got to the last crack Dido had second thoughts about completing the curse.
Greenblatt’s story is interesting and nicely written, one that quickly engages the reader from the first paragraph.