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2014 Story 83

From Fierce Family, edited by Bart R. Leib, published by Crossed Genres:

83. THE COLLARED SIGNAL by J.L. Forrest   If short stories can be described as "sweeping," this one certainly is. There's a cast of at least a dozen, divided between two families, and a conflict (damaged ship beset upon by pirates) that would easily fuel a full-length movie. And yet it doesn't feel crowded or rushed. Forrest's writing is very cinematic, so the swell of boarding action / repelling the attack / fighting, both within the ship and outside it, is very easy to picture and follow.  Equally strong are the smaller character moments; despite very few "catch your breath" quiet moments, each of the major characters has a chance to shine and grow.  I'd love to see more with these characters, in fact.

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