Friday, April 16, 2021

Quick Sips 04/16/2021

Well I’m now into entirely April publications, and looking a lot of interesting works this week. I think I can start to pin down some trends, though, for the year. And I mean keep in mind that I’m not reading everything, that I’m not seeing all works being put out, but I have been noticing a big return of stories focused on the act of survival and the different ways that people can resist, and the ways that can be effective, and the ways that sometimes there’s no win, no real way to fight back except in personal, often self-destructive acts. And I feel that it’s probably reflecting a lot but especially the pandemic and the lingering effects that authoritarian movements have made a bad situation so much worse globally, where almost every authoritarian/conservative government has fucked up their response and let their people die. And just…the weight of that. Mixed in to how some governments are going further right, using this as a chance to consolidate power, to the further detriment of their people. Though through a speculative lens, I am noticing that there are a lot of really heavy stories dealing with corrupt regimes, the desire to push back, and the enormous toll that takes on a person.

But anyway, that’s just one thing. I’m sure I’ll notice other things as the year moves on even more. For now, I’ll just keep my eyes open.

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Quick Sips 04/09/2021

March is dead. Long live April! Or something like that. This week I am hoping to close out my March reads, at least (unless I have completely missed something, which happens). There was a bit of activity late in the month what with the release of a special issue from Strange Horizons, but mostly now I’m moving into stuff from April. Now that we’re entering into the second quarter of the year, it means that all the quarterly publications I’ve been following (many of them new to my coverage this year) will be putting out new issues. Luckily they seem spread out enough that I shouldn’t be too buried, but we’ll see how this goes. Yay. Anyway, I expect to stay busy, and I’m glad that I got to cover Baffling, because it’s fairly large and always amazing, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month is going to bring!

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Friday, April 2, 2021

Quick Sips 04/02/2021

So April is here and I forewent doing any sort of April Fool’s Day “pranks” this year. Instead, I’m back with a lot of reviews. Surprise! This week I don’t think I’m covering anything brand new to me, though Mithila Review has been absent for the better part of a year and has returned with a big new issue. I only dip my toe into April reviews with a look at the new Fantasy Magazine, mostly because the end of March has been busy. Otherwise things are going nicely. I feel like 2021 is still taking shape in terms of what themes are widely on display. It’s still a rather grim year across the board, or at least so it seems to me. But there are some lighter spots that hopefully will strengthen as the year goes on. Whatever the case there, it’s a wonderful year for stories, and I’m loving the chance to read so many great ones!

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Quick Sips 03/26/2021

A new week, and new reasons for me to once again add new venues to my reading. I mean, obviously. What could go wrong? Seriously, though, I’m adding both Future Science Fiction Digest and The Future Fire to my reading, both of which I’ve admired from afar for a while but couldn’t fit into my plans. The Future Fire issue is technically from January so oops there, but better late than never I hope. I’m also looking at some single-author stuff, including a new installment in Julie C. Day’s mosaic novel/story collection and a collection of speculative crip lit by Brian Koukol, whose work I enjoyed when it appeared in GigaNotoSaurus a while ago. But yeah, lots to cover today, even if it’s technically not a huge week numbers-wise. Cheers!

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Quick Sips 03/19/2021

Just go ahead and ignore me whenever I say I’m done adding publications to cover. I’ll stop saying it, because I apparently can’t resist having a bit of time and immediately going to track down more to read. Just the way I am, I guess. And this week I’m adding some more…again. Both Hexagon Magazine and the Future Fire and new to my coverage, though neither are terribly new to me personally. It’s nice to be able to add them to my reading, though, and already I’ve found a lot of great stories in them. Further, here’s the first time I’m adding stories from a single author collection, but I do plan on continuing that trend, so that while I’ll only be covering the original stories, I’ll still definitely be able to keep up with some that might otherwise have slipped by. Otherwise not too much to report.

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Quick Sips 03/12/2021

Well the year isn’t really slowing down. Eff. But that’s mostly okay! I’m staying busy, at least. This week I’m moving through a bunch of publications, catching up on some that I’ve not exactly missed but needed to get yet from February. As a peek into my process, most of these are from places where I receive review copies, which helps me get to them promptly (F&SF and Apex, which I covered last week, are also in that boat). The rest are irregular/weekly releases that I try not to fall too far behind on. I try. Again, eff. I still have one or two review copies to get to, afterwards I’ll move to regular releases like Clarkesworld that are out in their entirety for free early in the month. Irregulars and issues that release a little at a time by necessity get moved back further in the month. So yeah!

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Quick Sips 03/05/2021

Apparently I just keep adding new publications to what I’m covering. Case in point, I’ve got two new ones this week, with a slightly belated review of the inaugural ConstelaciĆ³n and a review of the latest Fantasy & Science Fiction. I also finally remembered that Diabolical Plots exists (sorry!) and got myself caught up there. It’s still a mix of months, with works from January, February, and March all represented here, but hopefully you can keep it all straight. Next week should be all stuff from March, though, so I’m hopefully more or less caught up on what I’m doing. And there’s a lot to get to, so I’ll cut my intro there!

NOTE: This will be a recurring note that will run with every Quick Sips. First, please note that I don’t necessarily mention every story or poem out in an issue. I am giving myself permission to either DNF stories, or else finish and just not comment on them. Please don’t assume it’s because I disliked the work! There are many reasons I might chose not to comment on a piece, and I reserve the right to do just that. Second, you might notice the notations at the end of the micro reviews and wonder what the [c# t#] is. These are for the Scales of Relative Grimness and a full explanation of them can be found through the tab at the top of the page or through this link. With that said, let’s get to the reviews!