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2014 Story 122

From the May, 2014 issue of Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams:

122. WILLFUL WEAPON by Fred Van Lente   The Sidhe Cellach MacRath is forced to flee Ireland when he kills a human, and finds himself, through his mother's intervention, working as hired muscle for the faerie ganglord of the Five Points district of New York City in the late 1800s.  The story is solid on character and world-building: we get a very clear picture of how, in this alternate history, faerie  and human societies interact and overlap (starting with the sneering human officer at Ellis Island who can't be bothered to spell or pronounce MacRath's name correctly, effectively changing who he is since names have power, and also commenting on the way actual human Irish immigrants were treated by Immigration personnel at the time), and MacRath grows and faces personal challenges throughout the story that keep the reader invested.  But it all ends very abruptly and a little unsatisfyingly for this reader: I didn't expect full closure on every aspect of Cellach's story, but I felt like too much was left hanging, almost like this was not so much a short story as a novel excerpt.  Still, I would gladly read more of Cellach MacRath's story and would gladly explore further the world Van Lente introduces here.

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