Beneath Ceaseless Skies #127, August 8, 2013
Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia
“The Study of Monstrosities” by Greg Kurzawa follows Ethan as he interviews Dr. Alabaster about mysterious experiments that Dr. Alabaster once conducted. The opening leaves much to be desired and the text focuses on mundane actions such as putting down and picking up folders. This story is overly formulaic, leans heavily on dialogue, and fails to sell the conclusion.
In “The Crooked Mile” by Dan Rabarts, Rosco finds himself in an archetypical three-person stand-off where he must choose to attack one or both of the other parties based on scant information filled with half-truths. This action-driven story is set in a Western-style town near a bewitched canyon, The Crooked Mile, from which few return. It does a good job of pulling the reader in but less of a good job maintaining interest and providing a conclusion that satisfies the original mystery. Although the layered plot and thoughtful character development do much for the text, it lacks sufficient foreshadowing and setting development.
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.