Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Quick Sips - Clarkesworld #158

Art by Tomas Kral
November brings two short stories and three novelettes to Clarkesworld Magazine, most of them science fictional though some with fantasy elements thrown in there as well. There’s actually a strong focus on survival in this issue, on humans outliving (or not) some ecological or man-made disasters on Earth and having to decide what to do next. Having to decide whether to hold on and milk survival of every last drop of joy (and despair) or to embrace that humanity might be doomed, and that maybe it’s not the ultimate loss in the universe.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

2019 Awards Eligibility Post

Hi all! It's that time again to start to wrap up the year and get ready for...awards season [*shudder*].

2019 has been and continues to be...a challenge, we'll say. But I've managed to have some work out that I'm incredibly proud of, and I've continued my work here at Quick Sip Reviews as well as through my Patreon. I've tried some new things and expanded my coverage of short fiction to review more venues than ever (not an easy feat, given what I'd been doing already). But let's take it in chunks. For your consideration...

Quick Sips - GigaNotoSaurus November 2019


November brings one of my favorite subjects in SFF to GigaNotoSaurus with a novelette all about magical cooking. And it shines a light on the brutal, often toxic atmosphere that dominate in many high end kitchens, where everything is expected to be conducted perfectly every time. The story finds a woman dealing with the prejudices inside the profession, as well as the added complications of cooking with magical ingredients. She’s determined to reach for her dream of being a chef, though, and so she’s willing to press through a lot that is crushing her spirit at the same time it’s helping her get ahead. So without further delay, let’s get to the review!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Quick Sips - Flash Fiction Online November 2019

November’s Flash Fiction Online brings an interesting perspective on different kinds of magic and ownership. In one, both come down to a ritual, to an encircling. In another, they are tied up with memory and relationship, where items following the dissolution of a relationship go to those with more of a connection to them. And one, the ownership is of narratives, of images, and it has everything to do with the violent magic of colonialism. In all the pieces, characters are trying to reach for something, and all are dealing with corruption and power. Some are fighting against it, though, and some are rushing to embrace it. To the reviews!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Quick Sips - The Dark #54

Art by Romolo Tavani
Halloween is over but the darkness continues year round at The Dark Magazine. November brings a pair of stories that are very much about family...and the forces working to break them apart. They look at war and immigration, racism and despair, magic and peace. The characters revealed are struggling against heavy weights that seem poised to crush them, and their ways of coping are...not always the healthiest. But without other options, it’s what they have, and the stories explore what that means, and the cost it has for the characters and their families. To the reviews!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Quick Sips - Lightspeed #114

Art by Christopher D. Park
Three short stories and a novelette round out the November fiction from Lightspeed Magazine. Things kick off with a new story in the Robot Country series, and from there things progress to soul mates and annihilation of worlds, documentaries and punchlines. And a lot of the works have what might be a particular focus on world building, on large stories that unfold even outside the constraints of the stories featured here. Especially with the Phetteplace and Lee stories, these feel more like chapters that will unfold in larger confines, where the stakes are huge but still only a taste of what will be. It's a fascinating collection of fiction, with action probably taking prominence over introspection (by and large, though not without exception) and it's certainly an issue to spend some time with. To the reviews!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Quick Sips - Escape Pod #702 & #704


Escape Pod doubled up in October, with two original releases covering some very interesting future technologies. I almost feel like Jonathan Frakes at the beginning of Beyond Belief. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if memories...could be passed down like grandma's furniture? Or, have you ever looked at a new piece of technology and wondered "am I going to be replaced...by a machine?" The stories look at the implications of technologies that allow humans added avenues of thought and efficiency. Where people can gain the skills of the dearly departed, but might end up haunted. And where efficiency gives rise to Singularities that have already ravaged the world once, and might again. The pieces carry with them a weight of loneliness and loss, and yet refuse to be bogged down in despair. To the reviews!