Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia
This issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies serves up two strong narratives set in highly imaginative worlds.
In “Written on The Hides of Foxes” by Alex Dally MacFarlane, traveling wise woman Oruguaq offers to rescue Kegulan from her family curse if she will become the Oruguaq’s hard-working assistant in a harsh, but wide, world. From its attention-grabbing first line, MacFarlane impresses upon the reader a difficult world of death and patriarchy that offers glimpses of hope only to the tough and the bold. Kegulan becomes a strong female character who differentiates herself from even her abrasive mentor, Oruguaq.
“The Good Deaths, Part II” by Angela Ambroz brings the reader to an alternate reality United States where the dead transform into their next reincarnation and the devout pray to Lord Buddah. Carrie, an imposing, strong-willed woman, opens up the first person narrative by smashing up the local pub after the ignoble death of her drunkard husband. When her path of righteousness goes horribly wrong, Carrie must reevaluate her hyper-religious attitude as part of the natural cycle of grief and hope.
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.