Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiction Rave: Josh Rountree & Samantha Henderson's Dust Angels

My taste in fiction runs towards beautiful, surreal worlds. I want sensual worlds ready to give that come-hither glance, and I'm one of those shallow ones satisfied by a superficial world, willing to agree not to scratch too hard at the surface of the bizarre world. Josh Rountree and Samantha Henderson deliver one of these beautiful worlds in "Escaping Salvation" published in Realms of Fantasy. However, the world isn't really beautiful, it's post-apocalyptic with the scarcity of water and life lying at the whims of dust angels scouring the plains. It satisfies me as world takes my breath away.

The story is told in first person, and Lizzy's character and voice shine. The story needs to get across a lot of back story in the way this world works. Dust angels have ravaged the world and we follow the scavengers who seek out these angels to kill them before they fully form. Body parts harvested from the angels before they return to dust can be used as implants, assuming one's willing to take the chance of succumbing to the angel's will which might remain within the limb. Lizzy weaves her tail with that of the way the world works and her voice makes the telling of the world a pleasure to read.

According to Orson Scott Card's MICE categorization, I'd call this a mileau story. It's not quite the classic form because Lizzy and her brother are part and parcel of this world, but most of the story starts when they enter Camp Salvation, and well, you'll have to read it to see whether they escape Salvation. However, it fits for me because Lizzy must discover more about her world as she spends time within the camp.

A word of warning, Lizzy never shies from swearing, but that feels right in character for this gritty angel-killer.

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