Duncan has had a series of well-wrought stories in F&SF of late, and this is no exception. It’s a historical tale, set in the medieval Mediterranean, and has a heroic, perhaps doomed quest, set against a complex society, with politics and religion playing strong roles. The only thing missing is a fantastical element – the opportunity is there, as alchemy plays a part, but Duncan avoids any magical element, to keep the story as mainstream historical fiction.
- Theodora Goss. Pug. (Asimovs, July 2011).
- Carter Scholz. Signs of Life. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2011).