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The Man Who Bridged the Mist:a Fascinating World Where the Story Focuses Solely on Bridge Construction

Updated on February 1, 2020

The Man Who Bridged The Mist by Kij Johnson

The Man Who Bridged The Mist by Kij Johnson

So I finally did it. I have officially reached the last story in the 29th edition of the Years Best Scifi. I can finally say I finished this massive anthology. What is the story this time around? It is The Man Who Bridged The Mist.

The story is set in a fantasy world where two halves of an empire is divided by a massive river of this thick viscous mist. This is no ordinary mist. It’s something more alien that boats can sail on, can shape shift and has a whole ecosystem of monsters dwelling in. The emperor is tired of this great divide in this country decides to send Kit, an engineer to the shore to do the impossible. To build a bridge that stretched across the river and connects the two halves of the country. To do this, he must work with the towns, the ferries, and learn about the dangers of the creatures in the mist.

So about the good and bad? Let’s start with the good. The detail is fantastic. The major focus is about the relationships between the people and how their world will change when the bridge is built. And these themes are thoroughly explored maybe to a fault.

The bad? The setup for this sounds like something much more exciting. It sounds like this might be scary or frightening like Silent Hill or The Mist. But this story is not that. This is about bridge building. They build a bridge and that’s the story. Beyond that, the only other element it has is one page of spookiness and the friendships he builds. But the key plot is very dull.

Overall, this is story packed with potential and keeps the reader guessing throughout until they are ultimately disappointed. The story about bridge construction and not much else. The setting of an alien mist and monsters is only backdrop and nothing more. The story isn’t all that bad per say, but as a genre piece it feels like a broken promise. It’s very mediocre and not worth seeking out.

2 smoothie out of Four

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