REVIEW: “Satin and Velvet” by R.H. Cloake

Review of R.H. Cloake, “Satin and Velvet”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 309 (July 30, 2020): Read online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.

This is primarily a story about “imposter syndrome” and why so many good, talented people often believe themselves unworthy of success. Greta, the narrator, is the youngest-ever apprentice to a centuries-old master magician. While still an aspiring apprentice she had met and admired Samara, her predescessor. Greta is “plagued,” like Samara before her, by “gasts.” Greta’s are satin; Samara’s were velvet, but all gasts are magical entities that befriend, for no immediately apparent reason, some people and not others. For example, The Master both apprentices serve(d) has never been befriended by gasts and it enrages him.  He vents his anger on each apprentice by refusing to give them lessons for as long as their gasts assist them and not him. Each apprentice learns a different lesson from this experience. One of them commits suicide in despair, while the other has an entirely different experience. This is a brief story but well worth reading, particularly if, like so many others, you’ve ever talked yourself into believing you don’t deserve success. 

Published by

Richard Lohmeyer

Richard Lohmeyer has been a technical/marketing writer for longer than he cares to admit to. He hopes to someday publish short fiction, as well. His favorite SF/F magazines include Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Tor. You can find him on Twitter @rkloh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.