Tony Pi’s “The Paragon Lure” is a prequel to his “Metamorphoses in Amber”, published in Abyss & Apex (Issue #24: 4th Quarter 2007). Art dealer Felix Lea is a member of a nearly immortal group of shape-shifters, the Elect, who use the distilled power of insectoid metamorphosis trapped in Amber to heal and change. Their rivalries and power-balances shift over the centuries, so stories set in this world are a sort of alternate history. This time it’s about some fascinating and deadly unfinished business from the time Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, but set in present day England with cell phones, jewel thieves and their fences, and a police detective who just happens to be the daughter of the fence who works for Felix Lea. The Paragon Lure is a gem associated with Good Queen Bess, and it’s used to bait a deadly trap that has no concern for mere mortals. Highly recommended.
Also reviewed are 2 other great novellas from Alembical 2: David D. Levine’s “Second Chances” and J. Kathleen Cheney’s “Iron Shoes”.
If you are a voting member for the Hugos, Nebulas, or other awards and would like to see a copy of my story for consideration, please drop me a line. Thank you.