Issue Nineteen (June 2010)
The name of the ship was clearly a joke, Johari reflected as he cleaned the cannons. The cold iron was a curious gray, from alloys that were produced from new refinement processes. Pure Arabian steel, the sayyida kept saying, even though the ore actually came from various places all over her trade route to build the ship.
For countless years, no one had come to Hermes seeking a lost soul.
Then Charon came, shrouded in the echoes of the bone flutes of Tartarus. The Ferryman had never left Hades before. Intrigued after many decades of hazy loitering amongst the mortals, Hermes put on his gambler’s face.
A novel with an ensemble cast where almost all members belong to at least one underrepresented group, written by one of the well-respected voices in British literary speculative fiction. What could possibly go wrong? Alas, there is plenty – from Indians whose entire universe centers around food to a monstrous antagonist described as a giant “mass of black flesh”, Nymphomation hops from one stereotype to another, and ultimately falls flat.