3 of 5 stars.
The skirmish between religion and science rears from time to time and place to place with little accomplished nor acceded. Often, the dialogue between the two sides is really two dialogues, one held by each side without a truly common language or lens building understanding. This tale re-enacts that dance as two young girls from different mindsets attempt to understand the incomprehensible.
Dancy has been following the path of her angel further away from her family and into unknown parts. But her angel doesn’t stick around, so Dancy finds herself on a rural road in Alabama with seemingly a dragon flying overhead. Jezzie appears and leads Dancy to the safety of her secret studying lair where she examines reptiles and reads books on evolution and Earth science. Dancy doesn’t trust a girl named, Jezebel, after a harlot idolater.
Dancy mistrusts evolutionary science as it contradicts the Bible of Genesis. Jezzie distrusts the dismissal of science by religionists. And then there’s the dragon . . . Jezzie points out the dragon is really a pterosaur but she cannot scientifically explain what it’s doing in Alabama 70 million years after it went extinct . . .
This tale appears in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 10 edited by Jonathan Strahan. I received this new anthology from Netgalley. I’ve previously read Kiernan’s:
“The Bone’s Prayer”–3 stars
“The Cats of River Street (1925)”–5 stars
“The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean”–4 stars
“The Transition of Elizabeth Haskings”–5 stars
[Check out my other reviews here.]