Friday, 8 January 2021

The Beasts in the Arena, by Sophia McDougall (Gollancz) | review by Stephen Theaker

In a world where the Roman Empire lasted long enough to develop trains, an animal trainer is asked to provide a lion for a celebration of the new emperor. But the lion is dead, and it died on the day the old emperor died. The new emperor might see this as an unwelcome omen. As well as this enjoyable short story, the free ebook also includes a long extract from Romanitas, a novel set 250 years later, by which time the Empire has invented “longvision”, and expanded as far as India and Mexico. Stephen Theaker ***

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