Thursday, November 22, 2018

X Marks the Story - November 2018

My penultimate X Marks the Story is now up at The Book Smugglers! I actually have something of a theme this time, of broken worlds and people helping people to heal and to fight back. The whole column gets into the stories in depth, but for those just looking for the links, they are below. Cheers!

“The Fortunate Death of Jonathan Sandelson” by Margaret Killjoy (Published at Strange Horizons, October 2018)
Between the Firmaments” by JY Yang (published at The Book Smugglers, October 2018)
“Talk to Your Children about Two-Tongued Jeremy” by Theodore McCombs (published in Lightspeed #102, November 2018)
“What the South Wind Whispers” by H. Pueyo (Published in Clarkesworld #146, November 2018)
“How to Swallow the Moon” by Isabel Yap (Published in Uncanny #25, November 2018)
“Toward a New Lexicon of Augury” by Sabrina Vouroulias (Published in Apex Magazine #114, November 2018)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Quick Sips - Shimmer #46 [part 1/2]

Art by Sandro Castelli
Weep, friends, for the final issue of Shimmer Magazine has landed. But also rejoice, because it’s full of awesome. And I should say that online releases for the publication will continue through April 2019! But that in the interest of reading the stories in the year they are technically coming out in, I’m going to cover the issue spread over just November and December. Which means that I’m looking at six stories today, many of which look at family, consent, and magic. These are pieces that look at darkness and follow characters coming up against the pains and injustices of the world. The things that you don’t get to control. Aging. Family. History. But just because you don’t get to choose these things doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. And the stories follow characters pushing against the gravity of their own erasure and pain. Reaching for a place where they can be free and empowered. So let’s get to the reviews!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Quick Sips - Nightmare #74

Art by Christina M. / Fotolia
Nightmare Magazine throws a bit of a curveball this month with not a pair of stories but a single longer work. And wow, it’s a creepy one, unfolding like a boulder rolling downhill, set to crush all unwary enough to be caught in its path. The story combines cosmic-level horror with much more visceral and grotesque beauty and brutality. It’s a story that looks at possession, and in some ways at addiction, that circles an abyss like water circling a drain, moving incrementally closer and closer until the inevitable plunge. So let’s get to the review!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Quick Sips - Apex #114

Art by Godwin Akpan
November at Apex Magazine brings three stories (two shorts and one novelette) that look very closely at memory. That feature characters who have to face events in their pasts…or try to obliterate them. For some, this is an incredibly traumatic event. It ends in death and murder. Or revolution. For others, it’s a chance to walk back from an edge. From an abyss. From despair and loss. For all of them, though, memory is something that is confronting them with something. With the weight of their own existence or the depth of their love. And these are stories that find different ways for the characters to face their memories and move forward into a world drastically changed by that confrontation. To the reviews!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Charles Payseur 2018 Awards Eligibility Post

Hi all! This has been...a year. Not a super great one in terms of number of stories published. But have definitely been some bright spots and in case people want to consider me for various awards/etc., or just want to catch up on some reading, I figured I would post some things.


Short Story

"Humans Die, Stars Fade" (published at Escape Pod)

The full text and audio are up on this story about stars and trauma and learning to heal and trust again. It's a story with a fragile kind of hope to it, but ultimately I want to say that it is a strongly optimistic piece about science, the future, and love.

I have others, but most of those are...decidedly smutty and so I'm not going to list them because those really don't have a snowball's chance wrt SFF awards. If you want to find those, though, all of my works can be found in the My Work!!! tab at the top of the page.


Fan Writer

I got a finalist nod for last year's Hugo Awards and it was such an honor! This year I have been back to it, and by the end of the year will have reviewed well over 600 stories and 100 poems (total reviews will probably fall somewhere around 750) here at Quick Sip Reviews. I've also done...

The Sippy Awards: My yearly SFF awards covering five categories. Basically what I read and loved the most for short SFF.

X Marks the Story (at The Book Smugglers): 12 posts in all (2 forthcoming) covering a ton of stories from all around the genre.

Some Queer Short SFF (at my Patreon): every month I round up a bunch of links to some queer short SFF.

Liver Beware! (at my Patreon and on QSR): I also drunkenly look at the Goosebumps series in these hopefully fun but also drunkenly philosophical posts.

There's more, too, from my review of Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City to a few posts about reviewing, and even some Quick Questions interviews. Plus this recent post on WisCon.

Things I haven't really been able to do is a lot of longer form essays or analysis this year, which is too bad because those are things I like to do as well (and things that seem to go down a bit better wrt what tends to get recommended for fan writing). Mostly what I do is a lot of reviews. Mostly of short SFF. Because, for my money, short SFF is where so much amazing and innovative work is being done. It's what I love and what I spend most of my time trying to celebrate and complicate. So yeah, I would definitely appreciate any considerations for fan writer.

[note: I will try to have my own recommended reading list up soon, and will update it for the end of the year to make sure I cover everything. Thanks.]

Cheers!




Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 11/05/2018, 11/12/2018, & more


Good news, everyone—Strange Horizons funded for 2019! The fund drive had been running for a while, complete with bonus fiction and poetry, so it’s a bit of a larger release than usual today, with three stories and five poems to look at. And there’s a lot of damage on display in these works. A lot of characters trapped by circumstance in situations where there really doesn’t seem like a good way out. Where their pain seems inevitable and unavoidable. And, often, pain is unavoidable. But the shape of that pain is often something that can be effected, and here we see how these characters seek to choose the pain they have to experience. And it’s just a wonderful collection of short SFF, really showing what Strange Horizons does as a publication, and I’ll get right to my reviews!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Quick Sips - Uncanny #25 [November stuff]

Art by John Picacio

After a few special issues, it’s a relatively small month from Uncanny Magazine. That doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t A Lot to enjoy. Anchoring things is a novelette that blends magic and song, sword and myth. And really both of the stories this month deal with stories, with narratives, and how they can be twisted. How specifically women can alter the narrative structures that keep them prisoner and use them to cut their way free of the conventions and expectations that would keep them caged. That, plus two very short but densely powerful poems, and it’s one heck of an issue. So let’s get to the reviews!