The Scorn of the Peregrinator by John E. O. Stevens

It’s the latest story I read in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology. I’m currently 90% done! I’m sure I’ll finish next year, which means it will have only taken me three years to read all the stories.

Published: November 2012 in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Genre: fantasy

Length: 10 pages

Setting: another world with a too hot sun and limited technology

Summary: Our narrator is a young member of a tribe who is caught unawares outside his village by a stranger, a peregrinator. The peregrinator forces the narrator to take him into the village, where he demands tribute for the Nine Kings. The villagers try to attack the peregrinator, but he uses the magic feathers of his cloak to defeat them. The narrator, meanwhile, is being scorched by the Furnace (their name for the sun). This ultimately allows the narrator to take the magic from the peregrinator and defend his village.

Final thoughts: A fascinating world where the people hide from the sun in ravines because it is so hot. There seemed to be a tie between the people and birds. I couldn’t tell if the people were bird-like or just adopted bird idioms into their speech and lifestyle because the birds provide much of the needs of their life. An interesting twist on a standard defend-your-home story.

Title comes from: The stranger who came to the town was a peregrinator, covered in feathers and dealing justice from the Nine Kings. It’s perhaps a play on peregrine falcon, since he was covered in feathers and a predator, and peregrination, which means to walk around. He thought the villagers beneath him and could care less what they wanted.



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