Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Folds of War

"The Folds of War" by Marcus Gallagher-Jones is a strong work of fantasy flash fiction (or science fiction, depending upon how you look at it).  I rather enjoyed it.

The magic system in this story is almost unique.  The only story I've ever heard of with a paper-based magic system has not been published yet: The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg.  Considering the magic system along with the location and cultural notions present, the setting of "The Folds of War" rocks.  Or maybe I should say it "papers," since paper beats rock.  (This is the part of the criticism where you either laugh or groan.)

The characters in this story are magnificent for such a small word count.  The protagonist is sympathetic, competent, and humble.  His humbleness is what really makes this story shine.  (You'll understand at the end if you read.)  He isn't all that proactive, but the story needs him to be docile in that regard to work.

I thought the plot unfolded well.  (More laughing or groaning.)  It was simple, yet elegant.  The format was nontraditional in some ways that actually made it a better story.

If this story had been given one more proofread it may have taken my top spot for Favorite Fantasy Flash Fics of Forever.  There are several little instances of awkward wording spread throughout the story.  Other than that, "The Folds of War" is truly spectacular.  If you haven't already, give it a read (through the link above).

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