Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Quick Sips - Glittership Summer 2018

A new Glittership is out and super queer!!! Now, though the cover says Summer 2018, these are all original to 2019, which means that people nominating for awards should consider these very much eligible as 2019 releases. That said, there are three original stories and three original poems, as well as three reprints (two of which I’ve reviewed when they originally came out, I think). And the stories are wonderfully defiant, full of characters dealing with systems and settings where they are oppressed, where they are criminalized, and where people try to bend them to fit into what is comfortable and allowed. But even facing the threat of violence and erasure, these characters manage to reach for the unknown, for space where they can be safe and free. Not all of these are incredibly happy, but they are all driven by hope in the face of tyranny, and they are all amazing. So let’s get to the reviews!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Quick Sips - Uncanny #27 [March stuff]

Art by Christopher Jones
Three short stories and two poems usher Uncanny Magazine’s March offerings in with style, revolution, and heartbreak. The pieces move around survivors. Not people who have outlasted others, but those who are surviving their own personal hells and oppressions, their own personal griefs and losses. They are survivors by necessity, their worlds condensing in a squeeze of despair that makes everything seem impossible. And yet at the same time, these stories work to show people helping people. Showing main characters able to move to more active resistance and freedom because they are not alone, because they have the support they need to make their stories about more than just enduring the hardships they face, but rather excelling in the face of them to find healing and hope for the future. So yeah, let’s get to the reviews!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 03/04/2019 & 03/11/2019

Art by Helen Mask
Two short stories and two poems open up Strange Horizons’ March content. The fiction shines with magic and with beings who are a bit different than humans, passing through a world where they are set apart by their passions and their hungers and their hurts. Looking for ways to find expression and acceptance. The pieces swirl around love and art, meaning and freedom, and the poetry adds some excellent layering to the themes, revealing people and feelings ripe with longing, uncertainty, and, as always, strangeness. To the reviews!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Quick Sips - Apex #118

Art by Aaron Jasinski
Despite editor Jason Sizemore’s continued health issues (hope there's improvement, Jason!), Apex Magazine definitely isn’t slowly down, with three original short stories and a new novelette, all looking at history and memory, violation and revelation. The stories explore the ways that people build prisons, for themselves and for others, and how much it hurts to have to inhabit those places, barred in and often cut off from hope. They run the gamut from historical fantasy to humorous science fiction, showing that humanity casts a long shadow on history, and in that shadow all manner of greater darknesses can lurk concealed. It’s a gripping, rending issue, and I’ll get right to the reviews!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Quick Sips - Clarkesworld #150

Art by Arthur Haas
There’s lots of news in this March issue of Clarkesworld Magazine, plus six new stories (five short stories and one novelette). Mainly, the publication will be adding more translations to its offerings, replacing reprints with new translations of Korean SFF. I trust this doesn’t mean that the Chinese translations will stop, though the current issue again doesn’t have a translation. What is here are some stories that deal very poignantly and viscerally with grief, with oppression, and with people reaching out to other people. That finds people dealing with loss in very profound ways but working through those losses to try and find community, or joy, or love, or purpose. The stories feature moments great and small of people starting something, taking a chance and sparking change. And life. And hope. So without further delay, let’s get to the reviews!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Quick Sips - The Dark #46

Art by grand failure
It’s a strange month at The Dark Magazine, with two original stories that take some very novel approaches to some rather tried and true subjects for dark SFF—mummies and science. These are pieces that don’t really retread ground, though, instead blazing very new interpretations on the ideas and tropes they tackle. The results are stories that are anything but expected, that are fun and mysterious and weird. And before I give any more away, let’s get to the reviews!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Quick Sips - Flash Fiction Online March 2019

Art by Dario Bijelac
Loss anchors the stories of March’s Flash Fiction Online. Loss and yearning and something dark and oppressive. For some, the loss is of identity, or family. For some, the darkness is a totalitarian regime, or an abusive parent, or death itself. And in each characters must struggle to find something that makes dealing with the darkness worth it. Music. Desire. Ghosts. The sad thing about the stories is that none of the characters seem entirely successful in escaping their darknesses. But there’s still some hope to be had. And plenty of good reading. So let’s get to the reviews!