Page Count: 121
Format: Full Size
Color cover and interior art by
Available From: OOP
Price: $15.75 (US)
The vision of a wolf brings a tribal Shaman and Elder to Cascade from a tiny Alaskan village. The Elder's son has been kidnapped, the Alaska State Troopers have been able to make nothing of the case, and the appearance of Native Alaskan "spirit magic" items at the scene of the kidnapping lends the mystery a touch of the eerie, the odd, which defies 20th Century law enforcement.
Traveling up to the village of Klawok, with the blessings of
the FBI, with whom they occasionally work, Jim and Blair find themselves in
another world. The world of the eagle, wolf, bear. Of unplumbed wilderness,
depthless forest and crashing ocean, accessible only by float plane.
The father of the kidnapped boy is a logger ... highly placed in a Native Corporation which, for some years, has clear-cut the forest for profit, just as it fished the rich Alaskan seas.
But the question of logging is difficult — does it destroy the salmon streams? Is it killing the fishing industry? And what about the long-term survivability not only of Alaska's cold rain forest, but also of the planet?
These are difficult questions ... could the answer also reveal the kidnappers of the boy?
Here is a complex, novel-length story that is at once a
tender romance, an intriguing mystery and an essay into, and about, the exotic
world of Alaska. No one, in fandom or out of it, knows this world better than
Toshua, who has lived there for many years. She writes of the Native Alaskan, of
the wilderness, the environment, and the interaction of people and ocean,
mountain and forest, with an enviable authority.
Toshua's deep curiosity about the spirit plane shines through this novel, too. The Jaguar, the Wolf ... the Raven also, are an integral part of a novel which sprang out of Toshua's readings on the subject of Native American shamanism.
Underneath the plot itself — which works on several levels, and which will perform a 180-turnaround and surprise you, within sight of the ending! — is the tender romance of two men who live on the edge in a dangerous world. Jim and Blair are pivot points around which this wonderful plot swings, rather than being observers at uncontrollable events.
Plot, characterization, research, action ... local color, the knowledge of a native to the location: to all this, add Toshua's writing style and flair, her "feel" for character and subject. While Nut Hatch may not have had the opportunity to publish in this fandom before, Toshua has been writing and circulating her SENTINEL stories for years. She needs no introduction!
In the unlikely event that you don't know Toshua, don't know JJ, and want to know for sure the quality you're about to order, then
Review by firstname.lastname@example.org
This almost falls into the category of "gushing," but in light of various complaints about publishers not coming across as promised (including one of my own), I really have to sing the praise of two publishers. I ordered a copy of Toshua's Shaman exactly 9 days ago and have it in my hand, mailed from Nuthatch (JJ) all the way from Australia. It doesn't get much better than that! I don't necessarily expect that kind of turnaround time, but I sure would like to hold them up as a shining example for at least one publisher I've been waiting for months for even a reply to emails (not mentioning names---yet). I even got prior confirmation that the zine had been sent. The same can be said for Black Jag publishing which I ordered from on the same day as Shaman, and got it one day later than the Nuthatch shipment. I realize people operate their fanzine presses on different levels all the way up to a business and that RL often has its say, but after having a couple of bad experiences after many years of nothing but good experiences, I was sort of getting leery of ordering by mail.
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