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!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Quick Sips - Nightmare #92

Art by Alexandra Petruk / Adobe Stock Images
There are two new speculative horror stories in this month's Nightmare Magazine, both of them in some ways dealing with rooms. It's the natures of the rooms that make them both interesting and terrifying, building off of traditions in horror that stretch far back into fable and myth. The pieces are visceral, revealing women who have been deeply hurt by intimate partner abuse, who have survived despite the crushing weight of it and the lack of support they've gotten, and they both move in very different directions around their themes. As an added bit of news from the publication, it sounds like an editorial shift is on the horizon, with Wendy Wagner taking over editorial duties in 2021 while John Joseph Adams So yeah, let's get right to the reviews!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Quick Sips - Diabolical Plots #63

Art by Joey Jordan
May brings two new stories to Diabolical Plots, and they're an interesting mix of feels and genres. The first work is a contemporary fantasy exploring abuse and grief, while the second is, well, a second world fantasy about revolution...and skateboarding. Both works find characters dealing with rather oppressive situations, though, and abuses that are intimate and pervasive. Both deal with the traumas of having to live in those situations, and the violence often required to get out of them, to avoid being destroyed. They aren't overly happy tales, but they are both moving and careful and, in many ways, hopeful. To the reviews!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Quick Sips - Uncanny #34 [May stuff]

Art by Julie Dillon
May brings three short stories and two poems to Uncanny Magazine, and there’s plenty of strangeness to go around. Now, I’ve seen it said that the publication lacks a central guiding aesthetic, and to a point I agree that it is eclectic and shows a wide range of the genre, but I also think that the title gives a lot away. There is a general feeling of the uncanny that I think the publication maintains, and this month is a great showcase of that, with three stories that are very different, but that carry along visions of the uncanny, worlds and people who are almost like our own, but different in some ineffable way that leads to a kind of disquiet and tension through which we can examine those strange new worlds as well as the reflection they cast back on our own. So yeah, to the reviews!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Quick Sips - Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #44

Art by Rengin Tumer
There’s a new Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and this issue brings three short stories (two just shy of novelettes) and two poems. Each of them explores a different world, even if those worlds are also kind of our own. They also deal a lot with religion, with faith in the face of prejudice and the threat of violence. The characters are caught at times between what they’ve been taught or are expected to believe and the reality that they observe. But as the publication promises, these are largely fantasy stories that deal with heroics, or perhaps anti-heroics, as people fight, love, and make sweet art amidst danger, intrigue, and betrayal. To the reviews!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 05/04/2020 & 05/11/2020

Art by Nina Satie
May opens Strange Horizons with two new issues including (among a bunch of nonfiction I definitely recommend you check out) two new short stories and two new poems. The work, as might be obvious, is full of strangeness, with eateries serving magical fare, children on Mars making their own entertainment, and poetry that challenges and delights. The pieces are often heavy but carry a certain whimsy as well, that weaves into the hardships and injustices and tastes a bit like hope, a bit like heartbreak. To the reviews!