Kaleidotrope – Autumn 2015
Edited by Fred Coppersmith
Cover Artist: P. Emerson Williams
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 28 October 2015
Links: Kaleidotrope / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Kaleidotrope Fall 2015 is here with its unique brand of fantasy fiction.
The issue begins with "Rites of Passage" by Julia August. -+- The warrior-queen Takaleyel kel Auzheghan, on the advice of the alžayn, an oracle of the gods, must slay the last dragon in the southern desert. She seeks the help of the greenland with Ann. She puts the dragon to sleep so Takaleyel can kill it. Or does something else happen? Fine fantasy.
"Dance of the Splintered Hands" by Henry Szabranski -+- In a world ruled by "god moons" in the sky (apparently for centuries), the work of these gods are done by robotic hands. Other such machines do other work. Razay returns to his village to see a large group of hands are building some sort of dome. They are not linked to any of the gods and are rogues. Such machines are eventually destroyed by the gods. Razay becomes convinced that Katia, the woman he loves, is inside the dome and in danger. What he discovers is surprising. Strange concept. Good story.
"Alviss the Dwarf by David A. Hewitt -+- A story based on Norse myth, told by the imprisoned god Loki. One night, a group of the Aesir, Odinn, the All-Father's clan are at a feast. Odinn's son, Thorr is off hunting the giants. His wife, Sif, and daughter, Thrud, are helping to serve the wine. Sif has much grace, but her daughter is huge. She reflects the giant blood of Thorr's mother. Loki is also at table, but Sif hates him because he had cut her hair too short the first time they met. The dwarf, Alviss, hideously ugly, enters and proclaims he has come to seek the hand of Thrud. He also claims to know the past and future of Loki and all of Odinn's kin. Alviss speaks well and tells of a time when Thrud saved his life. Odinn and the rest of the feasters are impressed. But Thorr, who just then returns, mocks the dwarf. Odinn stops him from outright killing Alviss, but Thorr proposes a test. Fine retelling of this myth, with a bit more at the end.
"There Are Rules" by William Stiteler -+- Davyd Grimshaw, along with brother and sister Kadder and Maggie Sixmith, operate on Fenix, a planet on which very precise rules have to be followed to do things, like pilot a landing craft or make various food recipes. Davyd has a great memory and the Sixsmiths have the empathy needed. They take jobs they are really not certified for using those skills. When a man is sickened by bad Eggs Benedict, they try something on the fly. Interesting idea and the story is written well.
"To Claim a Piece of Sky" by Crystal Lynn Hilbert -+- Sybil is a creature created in a lab. She seems to have infinite shape-changing abilities. In some War, she is sent out with a normal male companion named Jack Armistice, on missions. He does the killing, she seems to be there for tracking and shock and awe. She does not like the life. She wants to be just a woman, She wants to be free. That is not easy. Good story with a well-drawn character.
Kaleidotrope is a great magazine. Check them out at their website (link at the top of this review). The Horoscopes are back!