Lois Tilton gives me her first RECOMMENDED for this story.
Raj is a bandit, young, ruthless and ambitious to be the next Chief. His village makes its living by raiding the caravans of Swamp Elephants that travel through the Swamp where they live.From the distance, they looked like Jesus-bugs skimming the mud, but Raj knew that they stood taller than the sequoias that anchored their roots hundreds of yards under the surface. The swampiphant's legs pierced the upper layers of silt, finding purchase further down as the mud served to stabilize their tremendous height.
But the hungry Merfolk also live in the Swamp, and must be reckoned with.
Colorful and imaginative worldbuilding makes this one entertaining.
Garbled Signals has a less than enthusiastic review:
“Slow Stampede”, by Sara Genge, presents a finely-imagined world of bandits raiding caravans of immense “swamp elephants” on a low-gravity planet. The main character is well developed and very realistic, as a young bandit chafing at the authority of his tribe; but maybe he’s too self-confident and amoral to win our sympathy. He is also the only character to really be developed (perhaps reflecting his own self-centered point of view). The story ends with his marrying a character who has not been developed beyond a brief sketch. This, and other loose ends, makes the story feel incomplete. On the other hand, if this is an excerpt from a novel, there is plenty to build on here.
That one goes to show how hard it is sometimes to make unlikable protags work.
"Slow Stampede" by Sara Genge is set in a world with swampiphants and Merpeople. Raj wants to be the Chief of his village and plots ways to do it. How things work out for him make for a nicely-told little story--SFRevu
Overall, I'm pretty happy with what people have been saying about the story. I've finished the copyedits of "Shoes-to-Run" so that one should appear in Asimov's in a few months.
*Edited to add this revue by Colin Harvey, Suite101
Separating them is Sara Genge's 'Slow Stampede.' On an alien planet, Raj and his tribe eke out a marginal existence in a vast swamp also inhabited by cannibal merpeople, through which pass regular caravans of swamp-elephants ripe for the picking. Newcomer Genge skillfully depicts an exotic world peopled by ambitious youngsters, doddering elders and indulgent mothers. Recommended.
Benjamin Crowell's 'Whatness" also gets a recommended and Holly Phillip's 'The Long, Cold Goodbye' gets a highly recommended. Reading all these reviews of the other stories in this issue makes me look wistfully at the mail and wonder when I'll get my copies.
Overall, the issue seems to be sitting well with reviewers.