Beneath Ceaseless Skies marked its three year anniversary with its current issue, a double issue. If you’re wondering what a double issue for an electronic magazine is, you get twice the amount of fiction. And it’s good fiction, which is what you expect from this publication. That’s one of the reasons I decided to start the Seven Days of Online Fiction with Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
It’s been a while since we looked at BCS, so here’s a quick overview of the contents.
Leading off is “The Tiger’s Turn” by Richard Parks. This is the latest installment in his series about Lord Yamada in feudal Japan. I looked at an earlier installment in this series, “The Ghost of Shinoda Forest”, back in February. I’ve always liked Parks work since was introduced to it after meeting him at a Conestoga around the turn of the millennium. He’s primarily a short story writer, but he’s worth the trouble of seeking out. The latest installment in this series didn’t disappoint me.
Second was Kat Howard‘s “The Calendar of Saints“, an alternate history fantasy, where among other things different, the Church embraced Galileo’s teachings. This one concerns a swordswoman who is not a believer who finds herself defending the Church. The ending was original and unexpected.
Nicole M. Taylor tells the story about a woman whose sailor husband doesn’t come home from the sea but something resembling him does and the “A Spoonful of Salt” that results from their union. This one was quiet and disturbing.
The final story is one of judgment and mercy. J. S. Bangs‘ “The Judge’s Right Hand” was dark and compelling, and again, the ending was original and unexpected.
Finally, Garth Upshaw’s “Butterfly” from the September 22, 2011 issue is available in MP3 format.
There’s not a bad story in the bunch. Check ’em out.