Bear, hot spring waterfall, horse, rowan, river, alder
October 20, 2021 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Three short, eerie fantasy stories about water and beasts. "Hokkaido Green" by by Aidan Doyle (2010) is bittersweet fantasy about emotions, grief, and tradeoffs. "Talisman" by Tracina Jackson-Adams (2002): Horses, a family feud, dark ceremonies in the wood, high stakes and slow-burn reveals. "Riverine" by Danielle Jorgensen Murray (March 2021): the river man, his bride, permission, respect and care.

"Hokkaido Green":
A brown bear entered the clearing. It walked upright and carried an old-fashioned miner's lantern filled with fireflies.
"Talisman" (commentary by a former Strange Horizons editor):
It's getting worse and worse these days. Nobody understands how hard it is to stop at just hitting. Nobody gives me any credit for that.

And nobody understands how damned good it feels to touch someone.
“You can roam as you will,” he tells me at breakfast as I’m picking eggshell off the table. “You can swim in any water except the place beneath the alders.”
posted by brainwane (4 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

I remember some of these contemporaneously. It's a weird sort of early nostalgia.

Mind you, 2010 is about when *I* was last in Strange Horizons, so feh. Been a while. :-(
posted by Scattercat at 3:49 PM on October 20, 2021

I've read Talisman before, it's very mysterious and eerie and you really wonder about all of the backstory going on with these people (thegn?).
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:42 PM on October 20, 2021

Ooh! Hokkaido Green is a favorite of mine! I look forward to reading others by someone who likes it!
posted by AaronDaMommio at 8:26 AM on October 21, 2021

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