Allpa received the magic sword from his grandmother, as she lay dying.
–Ursula Vernon - Sun, Moon, Dust - c. 2017
First published by Uncanny A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy in May 2017.
Okay, this is wonderful.
There is something about Ursula Vernon’s writing that just works so well with my brain. I love her no nonsense characters, and her gentle subverting of tropes. Well, not always gentle, there can be trampling underfoot of stereotypes and genre conventions. And I love it.
In this short story a farmer’s grandmother dies and leave him a sword. A magic sword.
So you can straight away see the usual plot line, but this farm-boy doesn’t want to be anything but a farm-boy. So what is he to do with a magic sword, and how can he deal with the warrior spirits housed within?
He deals with it all in atypically Vernon way, small, grounded, utterly believable.