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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: "The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon 
6th-Jan-2016 09:48 am
"The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon. Short story/Fantasy. E-publication within Apex magazine, available online here.

Grandma Harken loves her tomatoes. Apparently, a magical somebody does, as well. Grandma finds out who, and decides it is worth the trouble to right the wrongs involved.

The reason I'm writing up a short story is that I really enjoyed the world building. I inherited a love of trains from Dad, and the idea that trains just evolved into gods intrigues me. My favorite line in this story is "he said that his god thought letters were prayers and moved them as a kind of professional courtesy." Besides being used as the structure of the world, the trains have nothing to do with the plot. Vernon could have used a hundred other ways to color her southwestern setting.

I read the story because I read Vernon's blog, and she mentioned that it was available for free over at Apex, here.
6th-Jan-2016 07:47 pm (UTC)
Right, and I feel the water thing could have been set up better because you have this whole long scene with the mockingbird at the beginning talking about the power of hospitality...except it's focused on coffee. So, either make coffee the thing, or work water into that scene. Then it all flows better. I like symmetry.

Coyote being random didn't bother me, because, I mean, that's the nature of a coyote. But you get away with stuff like that by having other story elements more tightly structured.
6th-Jan-2016 07:51 pm (UTC)
Well, I got the whole implication that coffee was both expensive generally, and missed by the mockingbird in particular. So that was ok as a hospitality thing. But yeah, the water needed to be better emphasized.
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