Speculative City is an awesome little ezine that explores fiction from all the different genres that are combined to make up speculative fiction. I’ve written about this publication before, but I recently subscribed to their Patreon and I really can’t stress how impressed I am with the quality of the work they publish. The editors, Meera Velu and Devon Montgomery should really get some love for their selections. If you have enough for a beer at a bar, you probably have enough to support Speculative City’s Patreon on some level.
A Trick of Light is in the newest issue, issue 7–which explores the aspect of horror in speculative fiction. And it rocks. Hamilton Perez takes a world we all know–that of hell, and inverts a lot of the classic ideas we might have about the place.
First, the demon readers are introduced to is a clerk. He gages the quotes of screams and moans and things like that. That’s funny. So originality is there for sure.
Then the language is great. It draws from the lore and legend of the tiered levels of hell, it’s infiniteness. The place doesn’t feel particularly tangible, but it doesn’t need to. It just needs to feel otherworldly, and I think it does.
Then there’s the magic by which our clerical task demon, Eligor, can use to move from the Hells to our world. It just–works. There’s no cheesiness to it, instead, it’s nuanced and implied magical things happening through everyday actions.
With all this in mind, I’d say this is the type of story I’d love to see more of. If you would too, check out Speculative City’s website.