Of the three Meantime stories, Warped is my favourite. It is probably the shortest of the three and certainly the wackiest. Svingen and Pedersen take us on a journey to figure out where the Agatha X has gone.
A sudden tremor and the screeching noise of G-force on metal throws Captain Henderson out of her daydream. The spacecraft quivers and groans for a few seconds, before falling quiet again.
Some translation issues still exist (Norwegian to English). Warped is completely unlike Flushed and not only because it is a “science fiction” story. It feels like a different person wrote Flushed from the one who wrote Warped. Whatever happened, it worked.
The Vision Quest is the first short-story exploring the lives of Daniel “Two Horses” Thorne-Redstone and his friend. We are only introduced to Two Horses in The Vision Quest.
After Daniel had been on his own vision quest, his name became Two Horses and he was now considered a Penateka warrior. While visiting his grandmother, Two Horses shared his experiences of his vision quest. Two Horses’ vision quest is fraught with danger and mystery.
I cannot speak to the story’s authenticity with regards to the Penateka vision quests. The information I found pointed towards it being fairly OK. Nor am I certain of the story’s intended audience.
With those provisos, I found The Vision Quest a warm story about a young man’s coming-of-age ritual and his understanding of that ritual.
Magical Entities is a cute story that seems to intend to teach children the importance of keeping their promises even when keeping them is difficult.
Radpa, has chosen Klarys to take over his store. But she must prove herself worthy of this task. Klarys is only nine when she begins this life-long journey. Sometimes she falls short of her potential. But that is OK because Radpa just expects her to keep on trying. And she does.
There is no violence, no swearing and no sexual content. I have set it as children’s literature.
I had a grand time reading Street of Lost Gods. Mr. Lewis’ writing was a delightful combination of humor and mystery. Rax did the Mautheri eaters proud with his handling of Angel Arden.
The Thief-City is an idea I haven’t seen before. Thieves of all kinds of races, human and alien, are somehow brought to the city by the city. So too are gods who are losing their believers.
Other than that, Street of Lost Gods is a mystery. As the Thief-City is a city of thieves of all sorts, the citizens aren’t exactly upstanding people. Instead, they are a collection of the underbelly of the various societies of Mr. Lewis’ imagination.
Street of Lost Gods is a short-story with a whole lot of fun packed into it. Definitely recommended.
I tried to find a link to all of the authors in A Forest of Dreams. As you see below, I couldn’t find them all.
Allan B Anderson: The Trouble with Dragons: This is a funny and cute story all about perspective. In The Trouble With Dragons we find a dragon, a town and knights.
Rose Blackthorn: When Darkness Falls, The Light: Flint Harmattan walks into the camp of Zaelryn and Vaeryn. Vaeryn is suffering from PTSD (an almost constant dissociation). Zaelryn makes sure she stays alive.
Cynthia Booth & Roy C Booth: Trespassers: Jenny, who is on her way to a job, stops at a cafè when her car becomes unsafe to drive. She is offered a ride to a safe place to stay.
Dave D. Burgh: The Bell: This is a really great and strange take on eternal life. Uldo and Emin are fun characters.
Jesse Duckworth: Runaway Clydesdale: A two-headed man, by the name of Clyde and Dale, is an exhibit at a freak show. He grows tired of this life and decides to run away.
Mani Fadn: Songs For Dead Hearts: People getting what they ask for isn’t always a good thing. Poor “young man” (all we ever know him as). A victim of his own abilities and the fickleness of the other villagers.
Jan Goeb: Accounting for Change: Here we find a tale that is about the first days of vampire life.
R.A.M. Graham: Dancing Doll: RAM Graham was the reason I bought A Forest of Dreams. I loved her story about Gwenmere. Dancing Doll surprised me. I love that. A little girl REALLY tries to listen to what her mother has told her to do. She really does. But we all know how tempting some things can be.
Rick Hipps: Squire William’s New Charge: What a great squire to have. Squire Williams is cast in the “teen-ager doing something his elders aren’t able to” role. Squire William’s New Charge is a fairly dark fairy-tale.
Axel Kohagen: Mudwife: I like these slightly creepy stories about consequences. Perhaps it could be said about this story that one should not trust first impressions and maybe even that it might pay sometimes to be less curious.
R. Scott McCoy: Only a Nightmare: Only a Nightmare is hilarious and creepy. Once again, things did not turn out how I expected.
Verna McKinnon: Dragon Toast: Dragon Toast is about the life of familiars and a dragon baby. It is adorable. Tupa is the cutest familiar ever. There is magic, action and adventure. My call is that Dragon Toast is a children’s story.
Angela Meadon: Intrepid Dawn. Not a children’s tale. Nope. More for the Young Adults who are able to read dark stories about monsters from the depths of the ocean.
Michael Merriam: All the Leaves Your Bed. I loved this little story about death, environmentalism and tree-magic.
Druscilla Morgan: The Last Unicorn: This is the story of the bunch that fit me the least. Rufus Armstrong is in charge of what appears to be a dangerous horse with a bump on its forehead.
James Pratt: King Kong Died for Your Sins. Oh my god. King Kong Died for Your Sins is a perfect portrayal of certain parts of our society. James Pratt nailed it. Absolutely hilarious.
Dyfedd Rex: Weapon of Mass Demoralization Test: Another story that I really liked. We get jaded old hunters, the military, overconfident magic-users, succubi and nuns.
Maggie Secara: Jack’s Day Out: We meet an old story-book character some years after the event. Jack and his brother Perian are on their way to visit the Lady when Perian disappears. Some of the other characters from the old story turn up as well.
Daminsen Shentay: In the Weft: Some shopkeepers are a little more dangerous to rob than other shopkeepers. Mitch should have been more careful about checking out the details of this job before agreeing to take it.
Most of these short stories were really great. There were two or three that didn’t fit me all that well, but I imagine they were still well-written. I find it difficult to know if a story that does not fit me is well-written. However, I do recommend A Forest of Dreams if nothing else but for Graham, Merriman, Rex, McCoy and Burgh’s stories. Those were my favorites.
Never underestimate the power of the right sort of alcohol. Especially if your life is on the line. Abelard discovers the importance of a well-stocked wine-cellar during his dinner with the person who apparently is going to be his assassin.