Gary's Reviews > Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #247

Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #247 by Scott H. Andrews
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BCS editor Scott H. Andrews usually groups stories that are similar in theme and/or subject matter. Both of the stories in issue 247 have to do with soldiers and soldiering, but that's a pretty generic theme for a magazine that specializes in high fantasy. Both stories were written by Philadelphia residents - this perhaps, is the true reason for their conjunction.
The shorter, and better, of the two stories is "Braving the Morrow Candles Wane" by J.W. Alden, about an aging soldier of a long ago war sheltering a child refugee while a patrol is searching homes. The old woman regales the patrolman with a tale from her own soldiering days in an attempt to distract him. A simple premise, written in stately prose and with a sharp resolution. The longer story, "The War of Light and Shadow, in Five Dishes" by Siobhan Carroll, is the epic tale of how the Iron Crusade against the Silver Ones comes to a disastrous end because a commander becomes distracted by the elegant dishes prepared by her indentured chef. A clever premise with some very effective prose, particularly in the descriptions of the food and its preparation. The author often gets in the way of her own story, though, with some unnecessary winks and asides and parentheticals. There is a jarring tonal shift about a third of the way through - a somewhat welcome shift, as the comedic tone of the early part of the story was not working for me. Points for originality, and for its well-realized conclusion.
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Reading Progress

March 29, 2018 – Started Reading
March 29, 2018 – Shelved
March 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

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