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This novelette is a Nebula nominee. It was published in Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Hester Blake comes from a long line of seers and portent readers. She is spending the summer with her Aunt Mar when deep water fish start showing up in the local pond. Later it begins to rain salt. A reading of the portents show one of the Lords of the Abyss has chosen a bride and will soon come for her. Although warned by her aunt, Hester goes in search of the bride. She finds a girl named Rainbow who she thinks is a likely candidate. The two become friends and Hester tries to warn Rainbow of the coming devastation when the Lord arrives to claim his bride. Rainbow laughs it off.

This story has great style. It juxtaposes old fashioned purple prose with cultural symbol’s like Barbie’s Dream Car and pancakes with syrup faces. This generates an atmospheric feel that I love in fantasy lit. There’s a twist ending, which didn’t quite surprise me. I’m not sure if it was subtly foreshadowed or if it’s just too obvious with this kind of set up. Because of the style, there’s not a huge amount of character development. The story says something about love and friendship between girls, but nothing earth-shaking. I personally think this is great reading, although some might think it’s hard to work through. I’m going to give it extra points for the style.

Four and a half stars.

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