Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quick Sips - Lackington's #19 [Voyages]

Art by Carrion House
May brings a new Voyages-themed issue of Lackington’s, with six original short stories to take you away from the comforts of your chair and transport you to different worlds and different times. The stories are all about movement, about the itch to travel and see new places. That might be another country or another planet. It might be a moon or just a little further down the track. But these are stories that revel in the journey and the joy and the meaning to be found through voyaging. They reveal worlds strange and familiar, haunting and affirming, and before I gush too much I should get to the reviews!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Quick Sips - Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #40

Art by Jereme Peabody
May brings a new issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, which this go-round has three short stories, one novelette, and one poem. Which is a little light on poetry, but things seem rather busy with the editorial staff as they have launched a kickstarter to fund their third Best of anthology. And the stories themselves very much celebrate what many would consider “classic” fantasy, with its heroes, dark wizards, vividly rendered worlds, and epic action. These are stories of adventures, of hope and confidence and fear and family. They show the strengths of the genre—the wonder and the horror only possible with a little magic. So let’s get right to the reviews!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quick Sips - Omenana #13

Art by Sunny Efemena
A new issue of Omenana is out now, with six new short stories (plus nonfiction and art!). It’s an issue devoted to urban legends, exploring stories of magic and gods, monsters and family. There’s a bit of a feel of storms to the stories, too, of the natural world and all its power and rage being channeled into magic, into people and situations that can’t be stopped. That must be weathered. Or not. And it’s something of a bittersweet issue as well, marking as it does the exit of editor Chinelo Onwualu, who has given the world some truly amazing issues of a fantastic publication. I can only hope that the publication itself might continuing its publishing, and I very much look forward to the future of Omenana. To the reviews!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Quick Sips - Nightmare #80

Art by Chainat / Fotolio
Two very different stories make up the May issue of Nightmare Magazine, though both have a lot to do with history and justice. One is a ghost story, though, about curses and about betrayal—about a moment of two people finding each other in the midst of corruption and loss and helping each other a little bit find some beginning of, if not full justice, at least some revenge. And the second piece is a formally innovative one about a history that has for so long been written by colonizers, and is just now starting to include the voices of those with direct ties to the history in question. Both pieces ask what justice looks like in the midst of corruption and violence. Neither necessarily reaches a full answer, but their attempts do paint a startling and rather creepy picture. To the reviews!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 05/06/2019 & 05/13/2019

Two short stories and two poems open up Strange Horizons' May, and a lot of them are very much about homes. About places. The fiction especially gives a presence to the places where people live. To the rooms. The attics. The strange constructions. It gives them a sort of autonomy and voice. It grants them action, and in a way that is not always healthy for the people who would live with them. Because these places know what it is to be abandoned. To be left. And they don't seem to want that to happen again, regardless of what it might cost the humans they so desire. It's a very strange pair of issues, but also just vivid and surreal and worth some careful consideration. To the reviews!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quick Sips - Apex Magazine #120

Art by Godwin Akpan
Well this is it. The final (for now) issue of Apex Magazine. It's also a special guest-edited special issue from editor Maurice Broaddus. The stories are a mix of hope and fear, exploring futures torn apart by climate change, xenophobia, corruption, and conservatism. Per the mission statement of the publication, these are stories that walk the edge of bleakness and despair, that do not sugar-coat the violent or cruel depths that humans are capable of plunging headlong into. Through that, though, they explore hope in the has of annihilation, resistance in the face of corruption, life in the face of oppression. The stories see worlds only a step from our own and offer guidance, and dire warnings, of what might come if we don't do something now to spread compassion instead of exploitation. So for the last time (for now) for this publication, let's get to the reviews!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Quick Sips - Uncanny #28 [May stuff]

Art by Galen Dara
Given that May contains Mothers’ Day, it’s perhaps rather fitting that a lot of the most recent Uncanny Magazine features mothers in SFF. At the very least, the issue takes a keen look at parenting, loss, trauma, and what healing can look like. The stories show characters dealing with their feelings about their parents, about their mothers, their fathers, their sons. About what to risk, and how to put those relationships in context with a larger identity and world. And it’s a dazzling collection of works, at turns heartbreaking and terrifying and fun, and always gorgeously rendered. There’s quite a bit to get to, though, so I’ll get right to the reviews!