Friday, May 29, 2020

Quick Sips - Fireside Magazine #79

Art by David Plunkert
So first thing first, these reviews are no longer neatly meeting up with the issues as listed on the Fireside Magazine site. I first noticed that last month, where there were more stories in the issue than were released on the website. The spill-over from last issue appears in this issue, and so I'm assuming that the spill-over this issue will appear next issue, and on until it's all caught up. Just an FYI, but I go off the online releases typically when reviewing Fireside so that I can get approximate word counts. So. The good news is that the fiction is still sharp and punchy, the stories short enough to be very quick reads but still hitting above their weight. There are some fun pieces and some harrowing ones, and all in all it's another wonderful month from the publication. To the reviews!

Quick Sips - Serial Box: Ninth Step Station [ep02.07 & 02.08]

As the second season draws toward the finale, things in Serial Box’s Ninth Step Station are really heating up. Emma and Miyako are both compromised in some profound ways, but that’s not going to stop them and might not even slow them down as they investigate murders in a Tokyo cracked by invasion and occupation. They have to balance the things they’ve betrayed, the people they stand to hurt, and the people they are determined to protect as they navigated the weaving lines of nationalism, corruption, and opportunity around them. And as the half-way point recedes, the season finale starts to loom, with the promise of something Big lurking closer. To the reviews!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 05/18/2020 & 05/25/2020

Strange Horizons closes out May with its regular number of fiction and poetry offerings, and they are as wonderful as they are challenging. The poetry takes on some very difficult content, from the fear and violence people react to snakes with to the harrowing experiences on both ends of an alien abduction. The fiction doesn't offer any lighter revelations, keeping things heavy and intimate, looking at the way that violence and toxicity can take hold and manifest in something truly terrifying. Let's get to the reviews!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Quick Sips - Glittership Winter 2020

Not sure if you missed it, but the latest issue of Glittership is available for purchase Right Now!!! Four original short stories and two poems, plus five reprints (which I’m not covering but that you should definitely check out!) make for a jam-packed issue of queer short SFF. Some of the works are smoking hot, some smoldering--some lighter and fun, some with a bit more heft and depths. Whatever the case, though, they follow through on the Glittership promise of featuring SFF works with queer characters. Adventures are had, mysteries are explored, relationships are formed, and evil is thwarted in these tales of people mostly just trying to live their lives, and finding out that along the way they might just need to change the world. To the reviews!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #304

Art by Anton Ninov
It’s another wonderfully paired issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies with two tales of people doing their best to save their loves. To risk deals with fairies and gods to try and win back a person who has fallen into darkness, who is in danger of losing themselves to death and enchantment. And in both cases the characters find that there is a way forward, a way back, as long as they hold to their love, as long as they are willing to keep reaching. This might seem to put a rather uneven balance to the relationships revealed, where one person has to do more of the emotional labor, but I think it’s a bit more about how sometimes someone does need to be saved, and how that act can be both selfless and selfish, both freeing and bonding. It’s a beautiful issue, and I’ll get right to my reviews!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Quick Sips - Mithila Review #13 [part 3]

Art by John Glover
I’m back to finish off my look at the latest issue of Mithila Review. And the works are a mix of strange and devastating, haunting and interesting. The works look at damage, and the need for people to take control of their lives, their stories. The need for people to craft their own present, their own future. whether that means embracing the past or, more likely, rejecting it in order to do something fully new. There are two stories and three poems, and I definitely suggest people check out the reprint as well (which I have already reviewed on this blog), plus all the nonfiction. It’s a wonderful issue, and I’ll get right to my reviews!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Quick Sips - Anathema #10 [part 2]

Art by Cindy Fan
I return to the latest Anathema Magazine issue today, closing out my look at two more new stories and one new poem. The works continue to be complicated and deep, exploring the intersections of identity, always informed by how people are vulnerable and marginalized--through race, sexuality, poverty ,ability, and more. They find characters who are put in positions where “winning” isn’t exactly possible, where “safety” is a dream they can’t afford to believe in, because what needs doing isn’t safe, but it still needs doing. And there’s still love, and family, and hope, even if those things must constantly be fought for. It’s a stunning issue, and I’ll get right to my reviews!