Not quite a review: Seeking North, shared universe stories by Lynn Abbey, Jane Fancher and C.J. Cherryh

At the turn of the year the Closed Circle group started publishing stories within their shared Seeking North universe. It was my definite intention to read them, but, well, somehow it never happened. And then when I finally made it to the Seeking North web site even my jaded self was considerably confused by the site design – what went were, and why, and… freaking nuts, where the **** could I find the STORY?!?!

Eventually, about two minutes later, I found it. And, eventually, too, because life conspired otherwise, I took the text and made it into an .epub file, so I could read it on my phone.

It’s too early in the story process to know exactly where this is heading but so far so good, is my verdict.

On a planet far far away there is a human colony, lost, sort of, and suffering from a planet-spanning EMP shock which took out all electronics, everywhere. The tech present seems more borrowed/inherited than anything else, and the main mode of transport is wagons hauled by mules.

One story, Lynn Abbey’s, features a group of people living in such a wagon, going from place to place; itinerants, earning some money here and there on temporary jobs.

Another, C.J. Cherryh’s, is, this far, about a scavenger who searches the more desolate spots for metals that can be gathered and sold.

The third, Jane Fancher’s, centres on some street kids and the economy of horses and mules.

Lynn’s story got me drawn in. She mainly writes fantasy, normally, and I’ve never read any of her other stories (I’m no fantasy buff), but I found I enjoyed the short story format. A contained voice, holding the story like a crystal ball, turning it this way and that, exploring. I definitely want to know what will happen.

C.J.’s story, now, felt wholly different, yet with deep roots in the same soil. The language conjuring images, scenes, the vastness and desolation… and a hint of the unknown. I know she’s busy doing other things as well but I definitely hope she can spare some energy for this one because I’m curious where this will lead.

Jane’s story, then, because that’s the order that I’ve read them in. Different pace, different altogether, in respect to what Lynn and C.J. has written in this universe. Not my favourite part but good nevertheless and I’ll gladly read on, to see what will happen.

Go read it. And then support living breathing authors by using the Donate button they provide.
Because they have bills to pay, too.

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