"Swans Over the Moon" by Forrest Aguirre
Set on the lunar surface at an unknown time period, but before humankind on Earth, the Judicar of Procellarium is faced with many a no-win situation. To maintain tradition, he is forced to war with his own daughters, while all around, the very fabric of society tears apart at the seams. Is it time for tradition to be cast aside, and what will be the cost of doing so? And is the price any less than what he’ll have to pay to maintain the old ways?
As the pressures of rulership weigh down on him, the Judicar must also deal with treachery within his own court—a conspiracy led by someone in his own family. Certainly not a good time to be a ruler!
“Swans Over the Moon” by Forrest Aguirre is rife with war and courtly intrigue in a manner that would make Machiavelli proud. Aguirre paints a vivid picture of the blatantly fantasy setting in a way that makes you more than happy to suspend disbelief long enough to read this tragic tale. He details a mural of rich, lively, and unique-feeling cultures and characters while weaving a story that feels epic despite its size. You feel sympathy for every character, even the villain (or villains, depending on your own view).
The story, the cultures, everything could easily have been placed in a more believable setting—like say a “forgotten past” on Earth or another planet. Why Aguirre chose the Moon, I don’t know. Perhaps because it adds to the surrealistic nature one feels while reading this novella. Regardless, the setting fits, and the story is made richer for it.
“Swans Over the Moon” is a novella I highly recommend to anyone who loves Fantasy and courtly intrigues—or who happens to like stories set on sweet little Luna.
Publisher: Wheatland Press (June 2007)
Trade paperback: 120 pages