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Stories 64-68

I read these more than a week ago, but just have not taken the time to post them.  They all come from the April 2008 issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine:

#64: Gift From a Spring by Delia Sherman.  This was a sweet story.  An artist from England, feeling out of sorts and disconnected from her art, agrees to take a job as a bookkeeper for an arts summer camp in France run by a reclusive former ballet star and her husband.  Much of the camp's life centers around a poor little spring that has become dirty and polluted.  Good characters, nice little twist.

#65: The Doom of Love in Small Places by Ken Sholes.  This is an odd story that took me a little bit to get into, but the payoff was worth it.  The narrator is a Troll (or Trollish person, anyway) who runs the supplies department for a very large corporation -- the extent of which all seems to be one large building in which it takes weeks to travel from floor to floor.  Someone comes asking the Troll for a supply of Love, which he officially is out of -- and the story progresses from there.

#66:  On The Banks of the River of Heaven by Richard Parks.  A very nice fairy tale.  I'm not sure if this is a retelling of an actual Chinese myth, or if Parks cut the story "from whole cloth," as the saying goes.  Either way, he gives it a very authentic feel, attaches some strong sentiments about long-distance relationships and not being able to be with the one you love -- and manages to make you understand just how fun it is chasing the Celestial Fish through the Celestial Waters when you're a Celestial Otter.

#67: Girl in Pieces by Graham Edwards.  A detective story (apparently one of a series, although I haven't done a search to see where else the character pops up) that reminds me, tonally, of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.  The detective has a "coat of many folds" that allows him to travel through demensions, so when a Golem shows up with a butchered girl in a garbage can, chased by the police, what else is said Detective to do except try to solve the case?

#68: The Dinosaur Diaries by Scott William Carter.  The only one in the magazine I couldn't finish.  It's set in the mid-west of America, and the concept seems to be that a young man's sister and mother both are getting messages (some subtle, some not) from the recently-deceased head of the family, while the young man deals with his own guilt about wanting to leave home for college but not wanting to abandon his slowly-less-rational mother.  I just couldn't get it the voice of the story or hold enough interest to find out where it was going.


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