Michael Swanwick. Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown. (Asimovs April/May 2014)

asimovs140405It’s been quite some time since I read a story from Unca Mike!

The scarlet begowned titular character is in fact the Devil, who makes a nocturnal visit to offer an invitation he can’t refuse to young Su-Yin. Her father is a general, the kind who has done things in the past that are deserving of his destination, but he’s still Su-Yin’s father, and she’s a resourceful girl, a very resourceful girl, and she follows him to the Underworld, where she is able to make a deal with the Devil for their safe return to the surface. Except of course that the deal requires her to do something, or, rather, not to do something, for a whole year.

It’s a smoothly told story, gliding along nicely, with the underworld not that far different from some of the seamier parts of some of the seamier cities of the world.

More from this issue here.

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