You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay • 2016 • Weird novelette by Alyssa Wong

★★★★

It is a mining town in some Wild West desert, where Ellis lives in a brothel. He was orphaned three months ago in a catastrophic mining event. Now, he slowly learns about his necromantic powers. A love story mixed with phantastic elements, mother desert, a preacher.

Somehow, the setting remembered me of Jackalope Wives. It is a story about doomed love, loyality, finding a place to fit in.

Beautiful prose in second person, nice gothic desert setting, believable characters. I feared that the story would go for the Cthulhu dark side, but it clearly was a story on the lighter side, though it was tense. Not to forget the very satisfying ending.

Highly recommended!

Meta: isfdb. Appeared in Uncanny, May 2016. Read in Best SFF 11. Available online.

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