Review of Evan Dicken, “The Transubstantiation”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 310 (August 13, 2020); read online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.
Deff is the narrator of this interesting, but decidedly unusual take on the nature of heroes. He is part of a small group of “glory hounds” who trap and kill heroes in order to sell their bodies on the black market. Often this brings a high price since a hero’s blood can be used as a skin treatment that leaves a person’s face looking “smooth as marble and sheened with a pale glow.” In spite of the monetary rewards, Deff regrets this practice, though he justifies it by reminding himself that heroes always break bad. One case in point is the Weeper, the hunt for whom is what most of the story involves. The Weeper is “the woman who had toppled Empires, burned entire nations in the name of justice, made promise after promise then abandoned us when the payment came due.” Her form of abandonment was novel, at least. She somehow climbed all the way to Heaven searching for truth. However, the truth as she relates it leaves her in despair, but fills Deff with a very different emotion.