Read On Spec #82 this week; I’ve been slow to catch up on my magazine subscriptions because I’ve been reading some ‘research novels’. A strong issue, as always, with several interesting stories and really cool cover. And just as I finish it issue #83 arrives! Which was also a delight because at the end of it is a little blurb listing who will be appearing in upcoming issues and of course my name is there — my story ‘Touch the Dead’* will appear in a future issue.
I also read the novel ‘Druids’ by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston (published by Edge), an epic historical fantasy set during the days of druids. Barbara Galler-Smith is an editor with On Spec and this copy I had her sign at a reading I attended last year. It took me a while to start this novel — I have a ridiculous backlog of unread novels — but I finished it rather quickly despite its length. I really enjoyed it; I’m a fan of historical fiction though seldom have the time to read it.
There are some fantasy elements (i.e., magic) but they are light (though still very interesting). The writing was strong and I enjoyed the characters… got very much involved in them. Maybe too involved because my only complaint would be the ending… without spoilers I can only say that I was just a little bit heartbroken by how it ended.
I realize the novel is the first in a series but some Really Bad Things happen and I would’ve liked just a glimmer of happiness at the end. Of course the ending guarantees that I will buy the next novel.
*’Touch the Dead’ is a prequel of sorts to the novel I’m currently revising.