“Troubling a Star” by Andrew Dykstal
“The Future Without the Past Is No Future at All” by Todd Honeycutt
Reviewed by Mike Bickerdike
“Troubling a Star” by Andrew Dykstal is an intriguing fantasy novelette, in which a young monastic ‘haruspicer’ reads the entrails of animals to predict the future. Guided by her elderly mentor, she discovers that reading the future affects that future. The two also determine that a series of supernova of nearby stars, observed over the preceding decades, are occurring closer to home each time. The ideas here are good, and quite an interesting departure from standard fantasy tropes. Tension is handled a little less well, perhaps, as the conclusion is quite clearly foreshadowed, and the sense of danger and personal conflict throughout is less powerful than it might have been. Nonetheless, it’s quite an enjoyable tale.
“The Future Without the Past Is No Future at All” by Todd Honeycutt is an allegorical short story that imagines a dystopian, fantastic future in which an apprentice travels across America with the god of remembrance, his elderly master. The young man and his god encounter the god of progress, who seeks to banish the past, ostensibly in the name of ‘progress’, but really to indulge his whim and selfish aims. As an allegory, the metaphors are simple and direct, but the nature of the tale is quite engaging, and it works well as a simple message.
Mike Bickerdike’s reviews and thoughts on science-fiction can be found at https://starfarersf.nicepage.io/