Review of Katrina Smith, “The Glassblower of Galilei”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 298, February 27, 2020: Read online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.
This is the final, and arguably the best, story in the first of Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ double-sized Science-Fantasy month celebrations. It takes place on a planet whose ruling class years before waged a genocidal war against a race of “fierce winged termagants.” The war was won largely through an unprecedented combination of science and magic undertaken by the “silver tongued liar” Master Damon. Since then, Master Damon has spent his days using that same mix of science and magic to create creatures whose only purpose is to serve him and others among the ruling class. Creatures like his current apprentice, Dimwit (or Dim, as he is sometimes called). Dim is anything but, however, and the rebirth he experiences and eventually bestows on others like himself, is the main focus of the story. Along the way, we see Master Damon—whose hubris far outweighs his remorse—get his comeuppance at the hands of a mysterious woman whose desire for revenge is not hard to understand.