reading-clipart-6Another review of a Hugo nominated short story. This story was published in The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House.

A group of beasts and birds gets together to discuss the meaning of recent flashes and thunders and an absence of Man. The wild beasts first ask Hound and then Cat, but neither knows what’s happened. It’s only clear that Man seems to be gone. Some of the beasts flee, but others are ready to step into Man’s place. Messengers bring clothing, as these beasts have suddenly noticed they’re naked. At the end of the story, Fox wonders why they’ve been given the empty cities, and whether one of them will be required to become a sacrifice to redeem the lower beasts.

I’m not sure what to say about this one. It uses Biblical/Medieval language and does strike some archetypes, but it’s hard to put it together into a coherent meaning. I gather the story is about Armageddon and the beasts rising to take man’s place afterward. It’s an interesting premise, but that was clear in the first couple of pages and nothing else of interest developed. I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but there’s some trouble with verb tense in the first pages. Most of this should have been past perfect. Half a star.