Jeffrey Ford. The Coral Heart. (Eclipse 3).

The Coral Heart is the name given to a sword with magical properties, and its owner. The sword turns to coral those who it cuts, and its owner has no qualms about using it, and the subsequent fame/infamy accrued.

When smitten by a beautiful queen, who initially resists him, he finds that consummating their love will be problematic, as she has previously suffered at the keen edge of the blade of the Coral Heart. A warts and all take on the traditional sword and sorcery fantasy milieu, but with the heroicism removed.

Having been reviewing the opening stories in this anthology, and commenting on the contemporary setting of the stories, and the female protagonists, I have only now come across a reference to some degree of hullabaloo over the previous volume in this series, with regard to its focus on male white protagonists, and lack of profile to the female writers. I spend as much time as possible on reading SF, and not reading other reviews, or visiting other review sites, and was not aware of this being an issue.

Similarly, I have only just spotted that the new Best SF website design uses the same WordPress theme as the TTA Press review site The Fix, which is purely a co-incidence rather than my being influenced by their use of it.

Why does life have to be so complicated?

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