|Art by Julie Dillon|
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Uncanny meets June with three stories and two poems and a decidedly dark tone. In these pieces people struggle with big issues. With systems and environments that are broken, that are hungry for blood. Where monsters and demons lurk. And they are settings where the characters are expected to accept their victimization, where if they struggle it will only hurt them more. Only, of course, these characters don’t accept that. Instead, they push back against these environments and when they meet someone who might have the power to change things, they seek to use that power. To convince it or take it in order to remake the world. Or to right a wrong situation. The stories are often violent, and uncomfortable, but they also shine with resilience and with care, and with the hope that things can get better. To the reviews!
Monday, June 18, 2018
Relationships move to the foreground for the June stories from Shimmer Magazine. Whether just beginning, in the case of a certain skeleton detective and the guy she meets in the forest (not as creepy as it sounds, tbh). Or at the possible beginning of the end, as in the case of a woman dealing with a partner trying to “fix” something that isn’t really broken. In both situations, one of the people involved has something that sets them apart and that makes them vulnerable because of how people might see them. And in both, the characters make steps toward seeing themselves as not broken, as worthy of decency and respect. And before I give too much away, to the reviews!
|Art by Sandro Castelli|
Friday, June 15, 2018
The first two weeks of June’s Strange Horizons brings a pair of stories and a pair of poems. The fiction is a mix of fantasies, one with magic and ghosts and monsters and the other with a looser grasp on reality. Both feature characters charged with watching over a space through. For one, it’s through elaborate ritual. For the other, it’s by house sitting. In both, there’s a feeling of something being trapped, of something being infested, and of the characters having been wronged. The poetry deals with myths, with mythical creatures, and with longing and endings and beginnings. And all together it makes for a rather lovely but haunting collection of short SFF. To the reviews!
|Art by Kelsey Liggett|
Thursday, June 14, 2018
June brings three novelettes and two short stories to Clarkesworld, with an interesting look at humanity, alien worlds, and human connection. For each of the stories, the setting is another character to contend with. Either in the form of an oppressive state, a far-flung world, the cold of space, or even an Earth that-might-have-been. And the characters in the story must navigate these worlds, surviving the many dangers, seeking to find connection where there seems only hostility. It’s a goal that is not always successful, and is occassionally laced with tragedy, but there’s also some hope to be found as well. That sometimes, even against the most overwhelming of situations, people can find each other. By and large it’s not a very cheery collection of stories, but it’s an interesting mix and I’ll get right to reviewing them!
|Art by Sean Andrew Murray|
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
It’s a pair of stories about women weavers in the latest issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Except that neither of them make cloth, exactly. For one, the weaving, the tailoring, involves emotions—woe and guilt and sorrow. For the other, it involves transforming beast corpses into all manner of objects. And yet both are about legacy and about skill. Both feature the main characters coming up against something that shakes them to their core. And having to find a way to keep going, to find faith in themselves even when they might find it difficult to have faith in justice. There’s a wonderful magic to both stories, as well, that complicates the ways that these characters face their challenges. That give them strength, even when things seem their bleakest, that life goes on. To the reviews!
|Art by Jereme Peabody|
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
June brings a novelette to GigaNotoSaurus, steeped in mythology and gods and tricksters and, of all things, balloons. It’s a piece that examines morality through the lens of stories, and does so in a very timely and complex way. Because even now the world seems beset by those who would use the letter of the law in order to undermine the ways that law should work—to protect people from abuses of power. It’s a detailed and lovingly rendered setting and a fresh and unique aesthetic. And before I give too much away, let’s get to the review!
Monday, June 11, 2018
June brings three original stories to Flash Fiction Online that explore difference and corruption and hope. In the two speculative stories, people are faced with an unjust system, with a situation where some people are being treated as less than people—where they are being confined, mistreated—with two very different results. The question becomes whether to go along with what’s happening to push back, resist. The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes down to what side of the divide a character is on—are they being oppressed, or complicit in the oppression. In the final piece, parenting is explored and your heart might just melt a little bit. Let’s get to the reviews!