It used to be I'd never met anyone else with my name. Or, to be more correct, the name I use. You've all heard the apostrophe thing before, but there just weren't many other people out there named Nathan. That change in university, when I met first one, then another - and then sometime over the last few years, it seems Nathan came back into vogue as a name. Quite frankly, it's wonderful. I love the name (hey, I chose it after all). It does, however, make me jump when a woman's voice says "Nathan! Get back over here!" and I whirl around and then realize she's talking to a straying toddler.
The internet also made my sphere grow, of course, and I've met a few writerly and bookselling Nathans, too. Did you know the name Nathan means "gift"? As this next story - by a man named Nathan - points out, sometimes the gift isn't all it's cracked up to be.
"Familiar," by Nathan Sims
A second high fantasy styled story in the Raising Hell anthology, "Familiar" tells the story of a demon-hunter who finds himself bound to a demon, the resulting "gift" being the very definition of a double-edged knife. In a world where the demons are tearing through the flesh of the soldiers, though, he is now powerful enough to make a real difference...
But is that worth his soul?
I loved the dark feel of this story (and this world) and would love to revisit the characters therein. While it's self contained - and the erotic content is set to a high burn - the narrative isn't lost because of it, and the sense of wanting more from the character and setting isn't one of incompleteness. I'm just greedy. Maybe I can convince Nathan to tell us all more.