I rarely read short stories, but a slim volume kept calling to me from the New Book shelves of my local library. Speculative Horizons, edited by blogger Patrick St-Denis, contains five fantasy short stories. Each story elaborates on an interesting premise:
- “Soul Mate” by C. S. Friedman describes the relationship between a woman and her new boyfriend, who is either a soul mate or something far sinister.
- “The Eve of the Fall of Habesh” by Tobias S. Buckell describes the work of a man who can take away a person’s magical ability.
- “The Stranger” by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. describes how a stranger changes the lives of a shepherd and his mother.
- “Flint” by Brian Buckley describes a turning point in the life of a young shaman.
- “The Death of a Love” by Hal Duncan describes a world where cupids are real.
The book was definitely worthwhile. I thought that “Flint” was the perfect, little story, like a good novel in miniature. It had a riveting plot, interesting characters, plenty of action, and an emotionally satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the other stories to varying degrees, but found them all interesting.