This is a fairy tale-ish story about the death and birth of gods, and ultimately the burden of godhood. It won second place in Writers of the Future Contest 2nd Quarter 2016 and appeared in Writers of the Future Volume 33.
The Woodcutters’ Deity (reprint). Forthcoming at Digital Fantasy Fiction.
This is a story of myths long-past — or are they past? Young Nduka is beset on all sides. His cruel, laughing brothers torment him (though he sometimes gets the better of them); and at the same time, the forces of nature themselves seem out to get him. His only confidant is… the Tree. No ordinary tree, the Tree talks to him, and listens to his troubles. Is it his ally? Or something darker?
This story is told in the form of African folklore, with hints of a story told by a campfire; but through the strong voice of Nduka, it feels current as well. And the ending has a nice, satisfying twist that I never saw coming.
~ Martin L. Shoemaker, Evil Martin
…This was also very good. Definitely would want more about the mythology here.
~ Vernice, Fiction Fantastic
I did like this story. It was an interesting one. It was easy to follow and understand. It had me interested from beginning to end. I felt it was easy to relate to from other stories about gods. And had ended deferentially than what I had been expecting.
~ Stacy Witt, My Ramblings.
I enjoyed the Nigerian voice of this story. It starts off with a great sense of humor, and then follows a fairy-tale style story about brothers cast out of the city. I couldn’t predict where it would go, though I had a few guesses. Nduka’s overcoming was powerful, even though it was quiet, showing he truly desired the greater good, instead of just the ability to wreak vengeance.
This piece sounded so much like an old folklore tale. Old gods, chosen ones, the intervention of creatures of the wild, all lend essence to this story. Because of its folklore nature I was tempted to discount this as neither science fiction nor fantasy and score it low for failing to meet the criteria, but in the end I relented and accepted it. 5 stars
The haunting images of battling supernatural powers usimg nature to over come each other.
The writing was beautiful…
I especially enjoyed “The Armor Embrace” by Doug C. Souza and “The Woodcutter’s Deity” by Walter Dinjos.
The Woodcutter’s Diety (5*) – Fairy tale of the traditional type with African elements.
The Woodcutter’s Deity – Very fableish, complete with dark streak.