t was a shame that Nina Allen’s short story A Storm in Kingstown was placed in a volume of short stories called “Out of the Ruins”. See, the story takes place in a medieval town (complete with drunkards and a plague and cloistered nuns and witch-hunters). Our heroine, Doris, works pouring ale and slopping pigs, just grinding through her days. But a friend of hers named Saira, a young girl who escaped the convent, has come and brought strange thoughts to Doris before disappearing (in the night a storm flooded out the section of town she was in). But Doris, grimy, muddy Doris, wants answers.
It seemed like a medieval story up until the point it suddenly wasn’t, when you realize that there are ruins under this town and strange things have been discovered. That there is history piled deep and deadly beneath its cellars. Had I been reading this on its own, I would have been rocked back on my literary heels. As it was, I blinked and then thought, “Oh yeah, this is a dystopian collection”.
Still, a nice read while I work on a longer feminist scifi tale. Worth a look for.