Beneath Ceaseless Skies #303, May 7, 2020

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #303, May 2020

“February Moon” by Josh Rountree

“Fox Red, Life Red, Teeth Like Snow” by Devin Miller

Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia

“February Moon” by Josh Rountree brings us a gritty rural fantasy story whose morals give a refreshingly rare glimpse into a desperate flavor of parental logic. Set on the rough settlements of the United States frontier where Europeans and Comanche clash, layered storytelling focuses the reader on the emotional journey of an immigrant mother who has already executed haunting decisions and sees another on the horizon.

In “Fox Red, Life Red, Teeth Like Snow” by Devin Miller, a troll wife steals a human baby, leaving a changeling in its place, and a hungry wolf threatens her path home to her troll wives. The plot showcases world building more so than a character’s inner journey—no moral quandary rears its head beyond the subtle conflict of gender roles in humans versus trolls. Entertaining fairy tale trappings promise European mythology with a modern twist, but this piece would serve better as an introductory passage to a longer story arc.

Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog and Facebook page.