Short Story Review: “HMS Invisible and the Halifax Slaver” by Iain Ishbel

2 of 5 stars.

Falling shy of being a full story, this vignette shows the meeting of two ships from different countries with differing world views during the time of the American Revolution. The historical fiction is overlaid with fantasy as the British ship’s water enchanter draws power from Hecate to face off against the American slaver’s necromancer.

The atrocities of American slavers don’t need embellishing to be made “more horrible”–they were quite horrible all their own. The fantasy overlay merely makes the story “not real” thereby divorcing it from the realities of history and ultimately lessening its power.

Noble as it is that the Brits wish to free the slaves from the terrible Americans that have drifted into Canadian maritime space, the flat treatment of the freed slaves does little show the humanity of the freedmen nor their benefactors.

This tale appears in Abbreviated Epics, a Third Flatiron Anthology, edited by Juliana Rew.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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