Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Quick Sips - Clarkesworld #146

Art by Helen Ilnytska
A single novelette and four short stories make for a nicely balanced month at Clarkesworld, where the theme as I can find it is ghosts and hauntings. In very different ways, the characters of these stories are being haunted. By guilt and by the past. By their mistakes and by the memories they leave behind. These are stories of people being confronted with the ways their paths differ from how they hoped. Disaster looms. And yet most of them are able to snatch back from the edge of the abyss something to help them move forward and not fall in. It’s an interesting bunch of stories, so let’s get to the reviews!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Quick Sips - GigaNotoSaurus November 2018



The latest release from GigaNotoSaurus is a longer novelette about the end of the world. Or rather about what the world becomes when so much that we depend on is lost. The internet gone. The infrastructure shattered. Where people are left having to figure out how to survive, and what that means. Having to decide what laws are still important, and which they can no longer afford. It’s a gripping read that sees this post-disaster scenario in all it’s shades of gray, so let’s get to the review!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Quick Sips - Flash Fiction Online November 2018

Art by Dario Bijelac

The original fiction at Flash Fiction Online comes single word titles this month. Which okay, isn’t a super strong connective tissue, but it does set up three stories that for me are all about social contracts. In each story, characters run against the ways that people make unspoken arrangements, which in turn lead to unspoken transgressions that in turn lead to very much spoken tragedies. It’s a rather resonating theme that in each, the ways people break the rules that are supposed to govern how people treat each other. So yeah, to the reviews!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Quick Sips - The Dark #42

Art by Laura Sava

The stories in the November issue of The Dark look at distance. The distance between people and their societies. Between people and their families. For some, the distance is the result of strife, and difference. For some it’s the result of violations that leave scars that cannot be wholly healed. And for some it’s the result of a refusal to really struggle with and face the beasts of their unconscious. The beasts of hate and anger and violence and guilt. And that in trying to deny and avoid that confrontation, tragedy ensues. So yeah, to the reviews!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Quick Sips - Lightspeed #102

Art by Galen Dara
It’s an issue of return in this November issue of Lightspeed Magazine. Two short stories and two novelettes make the issue a bit heavy, and for me a big theme running through the pieces is the idea of cycles and returns. Returns to childhood dreams, to classic books, and to familiar settings. There’s a look at childhood and how children are often confronted by some very upsetting things that they can’t quite handle, that they certainly shouldn’t have to deal with. And it’s a rather dark issue, centering death and abuse and trauma and a shift of the familiar for the strange, for the new and dangerous. Even so, there’s a beauty and a light that shines through a lot of these stories, where children can find their way through the darkness to someplace safer and free. Where even if there is loss, that loss can be honored, and remembered. And yeah, let’s just get to the reviews!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Quick Sips - Tor dot com October 2018


Art by Mary Haasdyk
It was a fairly light month from Tor dot com, with only two stories (one short story, one novelette), and one of those coming from the shared Wild Cards setting. For that, there's an interesting focus on ethics and morality. The pressure to act, and the ways that moral action can be muddied by a number of factors. At their cores, though, the stories are about conversations, and about understanding. About overcoming prejudice in order to see that someone's seemingly strange or wrong view of a situation actually makes a lot of sense, and give them a valuable (if often inconvenient) perspective on what's going on. So yeah, to the reviews!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Quick Sips - Fireside Magazine #60

Five Tuesdays in October means five new stories from Fireside Magazine, featuring interesting twists in form and expectations. From battles entirely fought inside the minds of special warriors to a man deeply effected by loss, from a paper on self-driving cars to a split narrative on charms, the pieces often look at symbol and metaphor becoming literal. That there is a power that comes from approaching a difficult and incorporeal idea by putting it into physical reality. And it's a strange and moving collection of stories this month, leaning dark perhaps to go with the season's spookier connotations. Whatever the case, it's a solid issue that I should get to reviewing!

Art by Saleha Chowdhury