Cirsova – Seeds of the Dreaming Tree

Lost tribe tales set in the modern day fell out of fashion shortly after the last few corners of the map were filled in by intrepid explorers.  The extra challenge of squeezing a bit of mystery into our digitized and sanitized world thwarts many a good adventure tale. Harold R. Thompson’ neatly sidesteps the issue by creating a new steam-age world in which a scientist and her guide attempt to recover the seeds of a possibly magical demon tree.  It might rightly be considered a steampunk tale, but it feels so much like our own world that it’s easy to forget the place names aren’t from around here.

Once again Cirsova presents a compact quest, and this time adds a dash of truly dark and alien menace.  Squint your eyes a bit, and you’re reading an Indiana Jones story, complete with two-fisted action, native death cults, Daddy issues, and a bit of surprise occult activity.

A solid entry overall, my personal preference would have been to go full historical.  The hints that this Dreaming Tree exists in our own world, that the events might just be autobiographical, would have added a bit more impact to the story.



About Jon Mollison

Jon Mollison was weaned at the literary knee of Tolkein, Howard, Moore, and Burroughs. He spent decades wandering in the wilderness of modern genre fiction, wondering when the magic and wonder went out of the world of dragons and space ships. In his darkest hour, he encountered a wise man who handed him the open secrets to crafting works that emulate the stories of the great authors who built the genre. They are easily summarized in but two words: Regress Harder. Now one of the twelve champions of the Pulp Revolution, his self-published works represent a more direct lineage to the tales of action, mystery, romance, virtue, and pure unalloyed adventure than the bland imitations churned out by New York City publishing houses in recent decades.
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