Bewildering Stories welcomes...
James has a major in English and a minor in technical writing from Fairmont State University. He’s published two poems previously.
“Building the Bronze Wall” is alternate history with a narrow focus: an imaginary company commander and his unit turn the tide at the battle of Thermopylae.
The narrative is far from Homeric and has none of the awkward grandiloquence of many traditional stories set in Antiquity. Rather, one can picture the Spartan commander Adrastos as a Marine drill sergeant who has risen through the ranks to become King Leonidas’ trusted lieutenant. His character is realistic, with a modern combination of cynicism about fate, i.e. the gods, and loyalty to his commanding officer and his troops.
The ending has been a subject of debate. Would something more grandiose be in order? It’s hard to see how. A few of the victorious soldiers fall to squabbling among themselves, and life returns to normal. How sweeter can victory be? Does the ending presage a continuation? We certainly hope so!
James Bright’s bio sketch can be found here.
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, James. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!
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