Thursday, September 06, 2007

Horizontal Rain, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Horizontal Rain
Mary Robinette Kowal
Apex Online

Maxwell Sanders pressed the phone closer to his ear as if that would somehow bring comprehension. "Did you say trolls?"

"Yes, Max." With her words, he could picture Amalia's rigid posture.

He ran a hand over his scalp. "I can't redo the aluminum plant blueprints because your foreman believes in fairytales."

A man is called from his office in New York to go to a construction site in Iceland because the local construction crew believes there are trolls on the premises and are too frightened to work. It's a great opening and when Max arrives in Iceland and gets to the site we get to see what the fuss is all about.

Horizontal Rain is a reasonably short short-story, fewer than 2700 words, but Mary Robinette Kowal packs a good deal of story into those 2700 words. Confusion, fear, fairy tales, trolls, death, driving, construction, meetings, phone calls, and a general sense of unease as the harsh Icelandic wind blows the rain sideways.

Recommended. Give it a shot.

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