|Art by Vicky J. Bawangun|
Friday, March 29, 2019
Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #274
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Quick Sips - Tor dot com March 2019
|Art by Armando Veve|
Coming off a full February, Tor's March lineup relaxes a bit with just one short story and one novelette (so far, at least, assuming nothing new slips in before the end of the month). The two pieces take on some very interesting settings, though, where the world has been changed by some rather huge events. In one, some animals have become Knowledgeable, uplifted to "human levels," though the true implications of the world are much more complex than that. In the other, we return to the Wild Cards universe, where a virus makes certain people develop power, turning them into Aces...or Jokers. The stories look at people trying to get by and maybe do the right thing, though in very different ways and tones. Before I give too much away, though, let's get to the reviews!
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Quick Sips - Fireside Magazine #65
|Art by Bernard Lee|
March brings a four short stories and a poem to Fireside Magazine, each of them full of darkness and light in warring measures. In each piece, people grow up hoping to find a place to belong. A world that matches the hope and brightness of their dreams and the stories they are told. But as they grow they find other fates waiting for them, trying to claim them. Trying to make them victims of the hunger darkness around them. Without the protection of a just system, these shadows do try to take many of the characters. But not all of them fall into the dark. Some of them are able to rise up, to join with others to fight back and seek to build a space to be true to themselves. It’s a defiant, inspiring issue of fiction and poetry that acts as a sort of extended hand to the weary, urging them up and forward to further the fight. So let’s get to the reviews!
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 03/18/2019 & Samovar 03/25/2019
Monday, March 25, 2019
LIVER BEWARE! You're in for a Drunk Reviews of Goosebumps #17: WHY I'M AFRAID OF BEES
Readers, I’m not entirely sure what to tell you about this book. I feel like we’ve left normalcy so far behind that the concept of normal has lost all usefulness or meaning when talking about this series. To compensate, I’m drinking the appropriately-paired Imperial IPA with Wild Honey from 3 Sheeps Brewing, which is just about strong enough to make reading this book tolerable. Not by much, but if you have to subject yourself to something like this, best to bring some help. Some liquid help. So booze in hand, let’s get to it!
Friday, March 22, 2019
Quick Sips - Diabolical Plots #49
|Art by Joey Jordan|
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Quick Sips - Nightmare #78
|Art by Yupachingping / Fotolia|
March brings a pair of rather chilling tales to Nightmare Magazine even as spring arrives to the Northern Hemisphere. The stories look at broken systems, broken worlds, that push people into places where they can only participate. Where they can only choose how much they want to be victims or perpetrators. Where opting out isn’t really possible. This might take the form of a legacy and a world that bring about drastic and violent changes, or a criminal justice system where the justice part has been shattered entirely. The stories provoke and challenge, putting the characters in impossible and horrifying situations and forcing the readers to sit there with them, experiencing those no-win scenarios first had. It’s effectively done, and before I give too much away, let’s get to the reviews!
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #273
|Art by Flavio Bolla|
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Quick Sips - Glittership Summer 2018
Monday, March 18, 2019
Quick Sips - Uncanny #27 [March stuff]
|Art by Christopher Jones|
Friday, March 15, 2019
Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 03/04/2019 & 03/11/2019
|Art by Helen Mask|
Two short stories and two poems open up Strange Horizons’ March content. The fiction shines with magic and with beings who are a bit different than humans, passing through a world where they are set apart by their passions and their hungers and their hurts. Looking for ways to find expression and acceptance. The pieces swirl around love and art, meaning and freedom, and the poetry adds some excellent layering to the themes, revealing people and feelings ripe with longing, uncertainty, and, as always, strangeness. To the reviews!
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Quick Sips - Apex #118
|Art by Aaron Jasinski|
Despite editor Jason Sizemore’s continued health issues (hope there's improvement, Jason!), Apex Magazine definitely isn’t slowly down, with three original short stories and a new novelette, all looking at history and memory, violation and revelation. The stories explore the ways that people build prisons, for themselves and for others, and how much it hurts to have to inhabit those places, barred in and often cut off from hope. They run the gamut from historical fantasy to humorous science fiction, showing that humanity casts a long shadow on history, and in that shadow all manner of greater darknesses can lurk concealed. It’s a gripping, rending issue, and I’ll get right to the reviews!
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Quick Sips - Clarkesworld #150
|Art by Arthur Haas|
There’s lots of news in this March issue of Clarkesworld Magazine, plus six new stories (five short stories and one novelette). Mainly, the publication will be adding more translations to its offerings, replacing reprints with new translations of Korean SFF. I trust this doesn’t mean that the Chinese translations will stop, though the current issue again doesn’t have a translation. What is here are some stories that deal very poignantly and viscerally with grief, with oppression, and with people reaching out to other people. That finds people dealing with loss in very profound ways but working through those losses to try and find community, or joy, or love, or purpose. The stories feature moments great and small of people starting something, taking a chance and sparking change. And life. And hope. So without further delay, let’s get to the reviews!
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Quick Sips - The Dark #46
|Art by grand failure|
It’s a strange month at The Dark Magazine, with two original stories that take some very novel approaches to some rather tried and true subjects for dark SFF—mummies and science. These are pieces that don’t really retread ground, though, instead blazing very new interpretations on the ideas and tropes they tackle. The results are stories that are anything but expected, that are fun and mysterious and weird. And before I give any more away, let’s get to the reviews!
Monday, March 11, 2019
Quick Sips - Flash Fiction Online March 2019
|Art by Dario Bijelac|
Loss anchors the stories of March’s Flash Fiction Online. Loss and yearning and something dark and oppressive. For some, the loss is of identity, or family. For some, the darkness is a totalitarian regime, or an abusive parent, or death itself. And in each characters must struggle to find something that makes dealing with the darkness worth it. Music. Desire. Ghosts. The sad thing about the stories is that none of the characters seem entirely successful in escaping their darknesses. But there’s still some hope to be had. And plenty of good reading. So let’s get to the reviews!
Friday, March 8, 2019
Quick Sips - Lightspeed #106
|Art by Grandfailure / Fotolia|
March often means spring and new beginnings but a lot of the stories in this month’s Lightspeed Magazine are a bit more about grief and yearning. Which hey, might be very appropriate for some, like me, who are so desperate for spring we’d burn our favorite Garak trading card if only it would make the winter stop. The stories often linger on distance, and on parting. On loneliness and fear and all the negative emotions that we try to vanquish in order to be happy. More than that, though, they also reach for hope and joy, and reveal some characters who manage to grab something precious and affirming and some characters who…don’t. To the reviews!
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Quick Sips - Serial Box: Ninth Step Station [episodes 7-8]
Things are certainly heating up in the latest episodes from Serial Box’s Ninth Step Station, with plenty of murder, yes, but also a widening scope and political scene, with politicians and terrorists both making life much harder for Miyako and Emma. There’s some further exploration of each characters romantic lives, as well as plenty of office politics to go along with the global politics they’re trying to keep from exploding back into war. And the series continues to hit its television-like feel, with one “Emma episode” and one “Miyako episode” that give a little each character the chance to grow and be challenged. So let’s get to the reviews!
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Quick Sips - Serial Box: The Vela [episodes 3-4]
Today's the day! The Vela is now available for your greedy eyeballs! And people, it is so worth it. For those who missed it, I just reviewed the first two episodes, and I’m back looking at the next two as the series continues to deliver when it comes to action, political intrigue, and all the power of a solar system’s slow demise. Where the first two parts focused on Asala and Niko’s personal reasons for taking the mission, these parts move into the actual hunt for the missing Vela, and all the danger and corruption surrounding what happened. In the outer planets, with extinction knocking on the door, there is a desperation that gives rise to predators. And Asala and Niko have to decide if that’s what they’re going to be, or if there’s another way to move foward. It’s thrilling, tense, and harrowing, and I should just get to my reviews!
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Quick Sips - Tor dot com February 2019
|Art by Soufiane Mengad|
Four works (three short stories and one novelette I kinda missed from the end of January) make for another full month of fiction from Tor dot com. Further, all the stories are science fiction and most focused on the strength and fragility of relationships. They feature characters who are lonely, and who fear being alone, who are struggling against a culture that often doesn't care about them or their happiness, that wants them to bend to its desires and the fabricated needs of its demands. The pieces explore darkness, self destruction, and what peace looks like in a world that might not be full of war but is full of violence all the same, just a kind that is a bit more socially acceptable. And these are difficult, beautiful works that explore futures (and maybe a near-alt-historical past) that are broken, but not without hope. To the reviews!
Monday, March 4, 2019
Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #272
|Art by Flavio Bolla|
Friday, March 1, 2019
Quick Sips - Fireside Magazine #64
|Art by Ashanti Fortson|
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