A Sweet Calling

A Sweet Calling
Clarkesworld #44, May 2010 (fantasy short story)
also available as a podcast

“You want to win her heart, Lun?”


Ao is a candyman, a sort of magician-artist who creates figures out of liquid sugar like a glass-blower. He can also animate them. He has just set up business in the town of Chengdu during the lantern festival when a jealous sorcerer creates a fire monkey to burn down the shop of a girl who has spurned his attentions. Ao’s heroic effort to quench the flames makes a rousing story, and the candy-magic is a neat trick. — Lois Tilton, Locus Online

First thing first, Tony Pi’s “A Sweet Calling” published in the May issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is an awesome story. The writing is at once taut and lyrical, the action is beautifully paced, the world building is deft, sure and subtle, everything the story sets up pays off and to top it off, there’s a lovely little twist at the end. If not merely for the sheer enjoyment, everyone should read this story to learn How To Tell A Story. Again, Clarkesworld proves itself to be a venue for some of the best speculative fiction being published today. — prusik

A candy vendor with the ability to use his candies as avatars and who can use his ability to create elementals faces off against a dangerous foe. A very well developed and compelling magic system based around the Chinese Zodiac. — David Steffen

Story Extra (spoilers)

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