Friday, January 19, 2018

Quick Sips - GigaNotoSaurus January 2018

Weaving together nostalgia, storytelling, and the magic of the Big Top, the January short story from GigaNotoSaurus offers a walk down a memory lane that is in danger of crumbling to nothing. It follows a man who defines himself by what he used to be, who has lost a bit of himself as he has lost the role that gave him meaning. Without it, he is fading in some ways. Until someone finds him in order to give him what he gave others—a shot at immortality. It’s a story that blends styles while evoking a very specific voice in speculative fiction. Before I give it all away, though, to the review!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #242

Beneath Ceaseless Skies opens up its 2018 fiction with a duo of musical and magical pieces. Focusing on harmony and discord, inspiration and creativity, the two pieces find characters whose professional ambitions are somewhat at odds with how their society treats them. They are good at what they do, driven by the art and the joy of music and yet finding that at every turn they need the patronage of powerful men in order to be taken seriously. In order to be safe. And both stories explore what happens when being safe stops being motivation enough for staying silent, and what happens when the right song bursts forth into the world. To the reviews!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

X Marks the Story - January 2018

X Marks the Story is now live at The Book Smugglers. This is the spiritual successor to The Monthly Round and covers five recent short SFF stories that I loved from late 2017/early 2018.

So thrilled to have my column go live. Please go check it out at The Book Smugglers! Links to just the stories are below:

“When The Night Blooms, An Artist Transmutes: A Three-Act Play” by Nin Harris (published in The Dark Magazine #31, December 2017)
“The Weight of Sentience” by Naru Dames Sundar (published in Shimmer Magazine #40, November/December 2017)
“The House at the End of the Lane is Dreaming” by A. Merc Rustad (published in Lightspeed Magazine #91, December 2017)
“The Heaven-Moving Way” by Chi Hui, translated by Andy Dudak (published in Apex Magazine #104, January 2018)
“The Epic of Sakina” by Shari Paul (published in Fiyah Literary Magazine #5, January 2018)

Cheers!
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 01/01/2018 & 01/08/2018

After a brief break for the holidays, Strange Horizons returns with its first two issues of 2018, each with a new story and new poem to enjoy. The pieces are wonderfully paired, story and poem working together to provide interesting and complex one-two punches. It’s something I very much appreciate as a reader, the issues holding together and complicating the individual pieces, allowing for a deeper reading than would otherwise have been possible. The first issue seems more about magic and growth, of children learning the dangers of the world and trying to overcome them. The second issue is more about refugees, from either wars or climate, people displaced and vulnerable, preyed upon and in need of kindness and rest. It’s a strong start for the year, so without further delay, the reviews!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Quick Sips - Apex #104

Apex Magazine kicks off the new year with a continuing tradition—treating readers to an extra big issue as thanks for the success of last year’s subscription drive. Which means six original stories (including a fantastic translation) and the return of poetry (for this issue only)! The prose runs the gamut of what Apex puts out, giving people an excellent sampler platter of dark SFF that leans a bit sci fi but still has an eye for the strange and magical. The stories range from hopeful to abyssally bleak, but even when the stories lack hope, they tend to reveal something compelling and devastating. Gladly most of the works _are_ hopeful, pulling progress and healing from the jaws of predation. There’s a whole lot to experience in this issue, from monsters in the Wild West to twins in the farthest reaches of space. So without further delay, to the reviews!

Art by Daniele Serra

Sunday, January 14, 2018

THE SIPPY AWARDS 2017! The "There's Something in My Eye" Sippy for Excellent Making Me Ugly-Cry in Short SFF

The 3rd Annual Sippy Awards keep right on moving! That’s right, the SFF awards that no one asked for and few pay attention to is back! I’ve shipped my favorite relationships, and I’ve cowered in fear before my favorite horror stories. Which means that it’s week it’s time to reduce myself to a small puddle of tears somewhat resembling a functioning human being. yes, it’s time for...

The “There’s Something in My Eye” Sippy Award 
for Excellent Making Me Ugly-Cry in Short SFF

I’m something of an emotive reader, which means that there are times when reading that a story just hits me right in the feels and I need to take a moment to recover. These are stories that, for me, are defined most by their emotional weight. By the impact they have, the ability to completely destroy all the careful emotional shields we use to keep the rest of the world at bay. These are the stories that pry open the shell of control I try surround myself in and leave me little more than a blubbering mess. So joining me in smiling through the tears and celebrating this year’s winners!

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Monthly Round - December 2017

This is the last one, as I'm starting a new monthly recommendation/review column at Book Smugglers called X Marks the Story (the first of which will be out next Wednesday). But please join me for the final Monthly Round over at Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together.

As, for those who just want links...

Tasting Flight - December 2017

“When The Night Blooms, An Artist Transmutes: A Three-Act Play” by Nin Harris (The Dark)
“The Weight of Sentience” by Naru Dames Sundar (Shimmer)
“The Birding: A Fairy Tale” by Natalia Theodoridou (Strange Horizons)
“The House at the End of the Lane is Dreaming” by A. Merc Rustad (Lightspeed)
“An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried” by Debbie Urbanski (Terraform)
“The First Stop Is Always the Last” by John Wiswell (Flash Fiction Online)

Cheers!

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