First up, what’s in this issue? A total of 15 short stories, a non-fiction piece, a short play, and 11 free-verse poems.
I think the quality and the range of material published in Tincture remains veryhigh. No, not everything in there appeals to me, but I’ve never felt that the lack of appeal for me in any piece was through a deficit in its craft. As usual, I’ll confine my comments in this review to the pieces that really stood out to me personally.
First up, a kind of honourable mention to two stories, Candace Petrik’s “The Dead” and Frank Scozzari’s “Children of the Tides”.
“The Dead” is a sad portrait of loss, told through the eyes of a child. Beautiful and poignant, my reception of this story was hampered by my never fully buying that I was hearing the inner thoughts of a seven-year-old; it’s something that frequently bothers me when reading stories told from the point of view of very young narrators. I don’t know why something in me insists on this particular piece of verisimilitude, and if you don’t share my hangup, you’ll likely take to this story more than I did; it really is very fine.
Similarly, my appreciation for “Children of the Tides” was hampered by expectations that I was bringing as a reader. The story deals with a surfer swept far from land by ocean currents who is (view spoiler)[led home by ocean animals. (hide spoiler)]