A review by cetian
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2015 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #718), by Jonathan L. Howard, Nik Constantine, Paul M. Berger, Paul Di Filippo, Michelle West, Charlotte Ashley, Kat Howard, Charles de Lint, Henry Lien, Alice Sola Kim, Gordon Van Gelder, Sadie Bruce, Jay O'Connell, Bao Shu, C.C. Finlay, Brian Dolton, Jenn Reese


It was through N. K. Jemisin that I knew about Paul M. Berger, after her mentioning his name in a blog post. I believe they are in the same writting group. "The Mantis Tattoo" was first published in "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction" and more recently the author asked and was granted permission to offer the download for free. Here is the PDF: http://www.paulmberger.com/2016/02/14/heres-the-mantis-tattoo and it's worth reading. It would be great if it was re-published and we could actually pay the author too.

The story envolves early humans. The writting is clean and the way myth is presented is quite striking. The characters' speech is very believable and they seem to be in the stage Malinowski wrote about, where we humans believed we can directly interefer with nature, spirits, the world. Now, we use the term "magical thinking" in a pejorative way. But that's it, a spirituality where there is no separation between human and physical reality nor between those and the spiritual realm. The narrative is well built, influenced by trickster stories. I hope that Berger is able to publish more of his work.