M.K. Hobson. Baba Makosh. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2013)

fsf13112Good to see a fantasy story where the author has put a fair bit of effort into creating a setting, and a palpable sense of place, and people, and history, and background, rather than a cod medieval fantasy setting.

The story is set in the midst of the Russian Civil War, right in the midst of it, with Comrade Pudovkin part of a three-man forward party, his comrades, Blotsky and Lvov a brutish pair. They find what they were looking for, which you would expect to be good, except they were looking for Hell, and they do find themselves there, are the forces of the Red Army, in the shape of their brutal commander, Tchernov, are challenging the Russian gods of folklore.

There’s a confrontation under the ice mountain, with politics, folklore, human spirit and human depredation all in the mix, and it’s a rich and rewarding read from Hobson (M.K. to his friends?)

More about this issue of F&SF here, and browse recent issues of F&SF here.

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