FTW

And the Reader's Choice winner is . . . a tie!

Thanks to all the fine folks who voted, "Soulless in His Sight" tied for the win with K.M.Ferebee's "The Bird Country." BOTH stories are now posted on the Shimmer website to read for free. Shimmer's always had a great reputation among the spec-fic community, but recently they've been in the news for becoming a pro-zine. I am stoked beyond measure to see my story featured on their site.

Here's what a couple of reviewers have had to say.

From Locus Online:

“Soulless in His Sight” by Milo James Fowler. Post apocalypse. Boy and Fatha are among the few people left alive, but Fatha is convinced that Boy was born without a soul, so he kills any man coming through town, trying to harvest one for him so Boy can go to Heaven when he dies. What Boy actually needs is a higher-powered brain, but Fatha doesn’t seem so well equipped in this area, either.

"It’s always been Fatha and me and nobody else since Mama, and the ones who pass through don’t go no further. But I don’t tell Gwyn this; he wouldn’t understand, at least I don’t think he would."

Less overtly horrific than it initially seems, with an unexpected humane touch.

From SFRevu:

The issue concludes with "Soulless in His Sight" by Milo James Fowler. Set in some post-apocalyptic Earth, our narrator is an (apparently) brain-damaged young boy whose Fatha has been killing people who come to their town. Fatha tells our narrator that he is searching for a soul for the boy so that he will see his mother in Heaven when he dies. Why he is doing this and the method to his madness only becomes clear at the end and that is what really makes for a fine story.

I know Bradbury told us to "accept rejection and reject acceptance," but since good reviews are often hard to come by, I'm going to enjoy these. "Soulless in His Sight" was a challenge for me to write, as I've shared before, but I'm so glad I stuck with it and now have a story I can point to as one I didn't allow to beat me.