Ben Peek creates a grim yet interesting world in “The Funeral, Ruined.” Linette, damaged emotionally and physically in the war against the Empress and her Children, is planning a funeral for Anthony. This story fits in well with the theme of this anthology, taking place in the imaginary city of Issuer where the crematoria ovens dominate the horizon and fill the city with ash. Told in a combination of straight narrative and epistolary form, the story picks up steam despite its slow beginning. Peek may have been trying to do establish mood with the lethargic opening, but it’s not until halfway through that any dialogue appears and the story gains momentum. Though “The Funeral, Ruined” failed to hook me immediately, I found much about it to like, and it is a memorable, morbid world spun from the author’s imagination.
Fantasy Book Critic:
“The Funeral, Ruined” by Ben Peek. This short story starts out slowly, but once the setting was established—Issuer is a city that trades in the industry of death—I was captivated by the tragic love story with its Frankenstein/steampunk influences. Definitely one of the anthology’s better contributions…
Some Dude on Amazon:
There are outstanding stories from some of my favorite writers, such as Jay Lake's "Promises: A Tale of the City Imperishable" (a story set in the City Imperishable from his novel Trial of Flowers) and Hal Duncan's "The Tower of Morning's Bones" (a story using the mythology of Vellum: The Book of All HoursVellum and Ink), excellent work from notables like Ben Peek ("The Funeral, Ruined") and Forrest Aguirre ("Andretto Walks the King's Way"), and great efforts from authors I'd never read before, including "Sammarynda Deep" by Cat Sparks and "They Would Only Be Roads" by Darin C. Bradley.