Friday, July 9, 2021

Quick Sips 07/09/2021

So turns out I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to reviews. Sigh. But given the fact that I’m just getting to July reviews now and given just how many I have to get to this month, it’s possible that I’ll have to make some adjustments in the future. Maybe not. It’s possible that some venues are closing, or will go off output for a while, but that’s always something of a gamble, and given all I want to cover…well, we’ll see. For now, I’ll do my best to keep up and just hope that I don’t fall apart too thoroughly. Like I said, this month is still a bit of June, with Tor and Strange Horizons, and then lots of July with F&SF (never sure when to count these as they release a month before the cover says?), Lightspeed, Nightmare, Fantasy, and the latest Beneath Ceaseless Skies. No rest for weary short SFF reviewers, I guess.

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!

Fantasy and Science Fiction July/August 2021 (12 short stories, 3 novelettes, 1 poem total)
  • “Whatever Happened to the Boy Who Fell into the Lake?” by Rob Costello (short story) - A rending story about Tick, a queer boy with an abusive father, an absent mother, and a destiny that’s more curse than anything. It’s beautiful but heartbreaking, the story dealing with the weight of Tick as a vehicle for revenge, betrayed by both his parents, lost and yearning so much but sinking under what has happened, into waters cold and dark and crushing. A fantastic story, though a difficult read. Kelpies, Queer MC, Family, Curses, Water/Lakes. CW- Abuse, Torture, Drowning, Suicide, Death of a Parent/Parents. [c5 t5]
  • “Dreadnought” by Michael Swanwick (short story) - A story about a homeless man, Luke, and a strange reverend who comes to visit him. And the power and prophecy swirling around them, waiting for the moment where the balance of good and evil is finally tipped too far to one side to be righted. It’s a haunting story of apathy and complicity, and I like how it takes on the ideas of doing good, helping people, and damnation. The ending is understated and creepy as fuck, and the whole thing comes together quite well. A great read! Demons, Faith, Helping, Trials/Tests, Balance. CW- Alcoholism, Religion, Homelessness. [c4 t4]
  • “Her Garden, the Size of Her Palm” by Yukimi Ogawa (short story) - Another kind of weird story, but one steeped in a kind of magic and gravity. A sense of Big Things going on as the narrator works for a Grandma who lives on a tiny planet doing vital work. The piece looks at the promise of ease, and the importance of care, and I just like the dynamic between the narrator and Grandma, the way they sharpen each other. A weird but very fun read! Rainbows, Air, Planets, Employment, Portals, CW- Abuse. [c3 t3]
  • “Tulip Fever” by Bo Balder (short story) - Jones is a girl, a Tulip, living on a ship at sea in a future ruled by risen water levels, pollution, and genetic mutation. She’s valuable because of her condition, because being a Tulip isn’t perfectly understood and some scientists are keen to study it. But she doesn’t want to leave her people behind when some well to-do people come to the ship to bargain for her. The piece is interesting and well built, the world intriguing, and while there’s not a lot of closure, it’s the start of something with big implications. A fine read! Ships, Plastics, Family, Genetics. CW- Slavery, Abuse, Pollution, Climate Change. [c3 t3]
  • “(emet)” by Lauren Ring (novelette) - A story about truth and feeling overwhelmed by injustice and corruption, as Chaya, a woman who can bring golems to life, mostly uses her creations for chores as she works for a large corporation getting ready to take advantage of deregulating facial recognition and surveillance. The piece looks at the way people are primed into complicity, the way that protest is made to seem pointless, even selfish, and the ways that Chaya comes to see that it’s a lie, and chooses the truth instead. The power of human will and effort and community. An amazing read! Golems, Programming, Protests, Employment, Surveilance. CW- Aggressive Capitalism, ACAB, Death of a Parent, Cancer. [c3 t4]
  • “Cat Ladies” by L. X. Beckett (novlette) - Zoey is working as police in Canada in a future where climate change has led to humanity having to concentrate and put everything into stopping and reversing the damage done. Zoey wants to move back to the States to be with her family, but maybe that’s not quite right. And maybe it takes a strange crime to convince her that sticking to the rules isn’t always the best choice. And really it’s a tightly plotted and really fun story with some great world building and a wonderful cast of characters. A fantastic story! Employment, Family, Queer MC, Food Printing, Cougars. CW- Aggressive Capitalism, Climate Change, Violence, Police/ACAB. [c3 t3]
  • “The Penitent” by Phoenix Alexander (short story) - A strange story about a being that might be all beings, that seems to be taking turns being the different creatures, human and otherwise, around a man named George who gets killed in his apartment when his kitten transforms and pulls him apart. A kitten who the narrator was as well, and it’s a cyclical and haunting piece, but one that doesn’t give up reaching for something good, for something better, for something whole and healed, and that has the power to get there, in the end. Not quickly. But with the nature of the being, quickly doesn’t matter as much. it’s a wonderful read! Cats, Queer MC, Transformations, Birds, Alternate Universe. CW- Death/Murder/Blood. [c3 t3]
  • “I Had the Dark: Ged Speaks” by Mark Rich (poem) - A neat poem inspired by Le Guin’s Earthsea, narrator by a being who seems like a dragon, or at least someone powerful and old, alone and waiting, found at last in the closing lines in a manner that resounds with power and portent. The piece builds up a feeling of magic, and a kind of fated moment, that unfolds with mystery and intrigue. And I like the feel of it, the voice, and the lingering implications. A fine read!
  • “And for My Next Trick, I Have Disappeared” by Chimedum Ohaegbu (novelette) - Adachukwu is trapped on a bus as parts of her are stolen. Bits of flesh that are sipped away. All while she remembers the intense friendship that has recently fizzled, leaving her bereft, grieving. The bus ride is haunting, almost nightmarish, cycling through loss and memory, threatening to consume Adachukwu entirely. The piece doesn’t close on despair, though, but on a kind of freedom found through confronting doubt and fear, and passing through to resolution. A beautiful and powerful story! Buses, Music, Friendship, Family, Sleep. CW- Abuse, Injury/Blood. [c3 t3]
  • “How to Train Your Demon” by Lisa Lacey Liscoumb (short story) - A rather charming story that finds an old widow, Edie, and a grumpy demon, Gus, discover that kindness might be more powerful than the cruelty of hell. Because after Edie begins to summon Gus to take care of small tasks she can’t manage on her own, a strange but warm and wonderful friendship develops between them, one that brings them both a joy they were missing, even if Gus didn’t know it before he experienced it. A really sweet story! Demons, Bargains, Baked Goods, Friendship, Hell. CW- Death of a Spouse. [c2 t2]
  • “Woman, Soldier, Girl” by Priya Chand (short story) - A story of transformations, of a soldier who becomes a cook, a nation that becomes a territory of an empire, a cook who becomes something else entirely. The piece follows these turns, some tragic, some resilient and hopeful. It follows the narrator as she survives, as she sees the differences between the old system and the imperial one, and the point when she decides that neither is good enough, that people deserve something better, and that it’s better to fight even a losing battle than accept injustice. A wonderful read! Food, Technology, Wars, Roommates, Employment. CW- Colonialism, Battle/Death/PTSD, Racism/Slurs. [c4 t3]
  • “Bridge for Sale” by S. Cameron David (short story/flash) - A quick and cute story about a con man and an alien looking to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a nice play on the old saying, and the ending twists it a bit more, showing that for someone who doesn’t really have to live with the consequences, the situation is too tempting to pass up. Basically it’s an extended joke, and as such it hits its timing and tone very well, earning itself a chuckle and a smile. A fine read! Bridges, Bargains, Aliens, Landmarks, Lying. [c1 t1]
  • “Picass-o-matic” by Paula Keane (short story) - A robotic plastic surgeon reaches a kind of awakening when they find they don’t want to alter the beauty of a patient, which...well, which quickly gets rather out of hand when they decide to adopt a whole new philosophy of art and beauty. Which...doesn’t go over well with their human supervisor. The piece is humorous, looking at the truth of procedures where the affluent make this robotic, possibly sentient being, perform surgery after surgery, without rest of consideration. Another fine read! Robots, Beauty, Art, Employment, AIs. CW- Surgery/Plastic Surgery, Unwanted Body Modifications. [c3 t2]
  • “Minotaur” by Maia Brown-Jackson (short story) - A strange twisting of the minotaur myth, this one with a woman, Cassandra, trapped in a kind of contentment at the center of the maze and Keket looking for her, chased by the minotaur, trying to free them. The piece is dreamlike, with a shifting style that fits with the nature of the maze they are in, that changes all around them. And the piece looks at longing and desire, separation and passion, in some fascinating ways. Definitely one to spend some time with! Minotaurs, Queer MC, Mazes, Dreams, Memories, Threads. CW- Violence/Death. [c3 t3]
  • “Perdition” by Rowan Wren (short story) - A story of heaven and hell, as the devil’s daughter grows at her father’s side, nurtured by his love, and eventually sent to Earth to spread chaos and help him with a problem. Instead, though, she falls in love with a woman and finds that hell can be a lonely place, even surrounded by her father’s love. And I just love the feel of the piece, the way it uses demons and hell and yet finds in that a sense of community and heaven, showing the importance of perspective and experience, a kind of relativity of heaven that is sharp and warm and makes for a great read! Hell, Demons, The Devil, Queer MC, Marriage, Family. [c1 t3]
  • “Mamá Chayo’s Magic Lesson” by Tato Navarrete Díaz (short story) - A beautiful and bittersweet story about power and fear, as experienced by a young witch in the presence of her grandmother. The piece is quiet and fun, focusing on the love between the characters, the family that is complete even as there seem to be heavy absences. And the piece is also a lesson, a nested narrative told by the grandmother, a reminder that fear is a dangerous thing indeed, and that respect is one of the most important things a witch must have for all living things. It’s a poignant read, and wonderful way to close out the issue! Trees, Houses, Family, Witches, Magic. [c1 t3]
It’s another big issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and a whole lot of really great SFF. Throughout, there’s a sense of longing, of people caught in impossible situations. Having to face that there aren’t always great options for moving forward. But in the difficult decisions, the hard lessons, there is a lot of meaning, a lot of beauty as people find ways to help people, to rise together, or not rise at all. A fantastic issue!

  • “Rochambeau” by Jessica Lévai (poem) - Okay a dramatic, tragic, and wild narrativization of the rock, paper, scissors game and I love it. The piece drips with melodrama, with its declarations of love and betrayal and weddings marred by destruction and murder. It just works in this classic sense, everything tied together and emotionally powerful, and yet also just silly because, well, because it’s a game of rock, paper, scissors, and that’s a wonderful balance of mood and action, tragedy and comedy, and I highly recommend checking it out! Fantastic!
Just a poem (well, aside from all the nonfiction) from Strange Horizons today, but a great read and a sure way to lift the spirits. It’s a touch of something light and fun to close out the publications June. Definitely give it a read!

Tor dot com 06/2021 (2 short stories, 1 novelette total)
  • “An Easy Job” by Carrie Vaughn (short story) - Graff is a member of a people, part circuit, part flesh, who go out into the universe to observe and record. Their nature is their greatest secret, which is why, when sent out by his employer (and friend, who knows nothing about his true self) to do recon on some pirates, things immediately go Very Wrong when he meets another like him on the other side of the conflict. The piece shows this messy situation, this guy having to balance so much, live with this one thing about him hidden away, and how he finds a way forward regardless. A fun and complex read! Secrets, Recording, Cyborgs, Collective Memories, Queer MC, Aliens, Pirates. CW- Murder/Death, Confinement/Prisons. [c3 t3]
  • “The Far Side of the Universe” by noc (short story) - A story about a procedure that promises to send people to heaven, or at least to a place very far away, transforming people into information that is short across space. But for the narrator of the story, the math and economics around the procedure point to a grim secret. One that they don’t seem eager to share with those around them, their partner who seems to need the hope the procedure promises. It’s a short but powerful piece, understated and quiet but with a lot going on and a depth that requires some close reading. A wonderful story! Space, Transformation, Uploaded Consciousness, Heaven, Employment. CW- Death/Murder(?). [c2 t4]
  • “The Red Mother” by Elizabeth Bear (novelette) - A story of Auga, a man seeking out his brother, who he’s cleared of a crime and who can return from exile. But who already met a fate that now Auga has to try and set right. By facing down a dragon. Heh heh. Well, it helps that Auga is something of a sorcerer. And maybe a little clever to boot. The piece is fun, the character work complex and interesting, and the plot something of a delight, even touched as it is by grimness. A great read! Vikings, Dragons, Horses, Magic, Bargains, Queer MC. CW- Death, Sickness. [c3 t3]
Getting to Tor a bit late this month but some interesting pieces with some great world building and character work. Plus some moments that are just rather shattering. A nice showing from the publication, and definitely some stories to check out!

Fantasy #69 (4 short stories, 2 poems total)
  • “To My (Final) Girl” by Dustin Katz (short story/flash) - A story of a grim situation, a couple caught in a loop of experiencing a new horror movie plotline every week, every vacation, every decision. And the narrator, Tom, making the decision to maybe step away. And how that feels and where that leaves him. It’s a great look at the draw of horror, despite the grisly outcomes, and the decision to return, and the loss at walking away. A great read! Relationships, Vacations, Horror, Movies, Ghosts. CW- Death/Torture/Murder. [c3 t3]
  • “A Softness of the Heart” by Lulu Kadhim (short story) - A quiet and rather lovely story about ghosts and a particular haunting when Louise’s Aunt Violet dies and returns to try and spur Louise in to declaring her feelings about another student in her school. The stakes are somewhat low but that’s a wonderful thing, full of an intensely personal situation and an emphasis on joy, while the sharp character work makes for a powerful and happy read that I highly recommend checking out. Just a delightful story! Ghosts, Hauntings, Family, School, Queer MC. CW- Death of an Aunt. [c2 t2]
  • “There Will Be a Question and Answer Period After Your Inevitable Demise” by Marika Bailey (short story/flash) - An interesting and powerfully rendered story framed as an afterlife as a kind of Zoom meeting. Where these particular dead find themselves having to face the voices of those they rendered voiceless. The victims of their violence and greed. The women, the monsters and the mothers of monsters. And the heroes now have to face a kind of justice, one that’s built around memory. A great read! Afterlives, Virtual Meeting, Mythology, Monsters, Memory. CW- Death/Murder/Confinement/Punishment. [c4 t4]
  • “I Would” by Benjamin C. Kinney (short story) - A story of a seer imprisoned by a queen, desperate to escape. When two heroes arrive, the seer foresees a lot of different ways events can go. That end in her free, or ruling, or dead. And the piece is full of yearning, full of desire, of uncertainty even when the stars are supposed to be fixed. They’re not, and the journey is one of chances, will, and throwing caution to the wind. A wonderful read! Prophecy, Stars, Queens, Queer MC, Heroes. CW- Death/Murder, Imprisonment. [c3 t3]
  • “How to Find Yourself Again” by Beth Cato (poem) - A beautiful piece about the weight of trying to fit in, of bending yourself to expectations in the hopes of getting acceptance. Not seeing that acceptance from others doesn’t exactly matter as much when you don’t accept yourself. But the poem doesn’t end on a down note, following the retaking of identity and agency, the forging ahead into the land of monsters and night and finding a glorious belonging. A fantastic read!
  • “Paladin” by Lisabelle Tay (poem) - A strange and rather haunting piece, told by a narrator who has Done Some Shit and now looks back on it in a kind of horror it seems to me, a kind of regret. And who is asking to have things made right as much as they can be, however grim and terrible it might be. To be freed from the weight of what they have done. A powerful and complex read!
A nice issue, full of some interesting stories that take on prophecy and memory, desire and power. I do like the pieces that center hope and possibility, family and freedom. And there’s just a great sense of movement and magic to the pieces, of people reaching out to other people in love and longing. A great issue!

Nightmare #106 (3 short stories, 1 poem total)
  • “At The Periphery” by Benjamin Peek (short story) - A story of Ali, a woman who fled an abusive situation through the use of witchcraft (and a bit of murder) and has been living in hiding since. And who has now been found by a man out to force her into another bad situation. The piece is creeping and tense, exploring how Ali has been hurt and how she’s shaped herself, and how she’s not about to let someone else get their hooks in her. A defiant and bracing bit of horror, and a wonderful read! Employment, Restaurants, Knives, Skins, Witches. CW- Murder, Torture/Burning, Abuse. [c4 t4]
  • “Sometimes Boys Don’t Know” by Donyae Coles (short story/flash) - A wonderfully fucked up story about a narrator finally being noticed by a boy. A boy who is a predator hope to prey on her except...that’s not really what happens. And the result is strange and terrifying and rather delightful, actually. At least for me, the story relishes that reversal, the predator suddenly made...not exactly into prey, but something like that. A great read! Transformations, Parties, Sex(?). CW- Attempted Rape/Rape. [c3 t3]
  • “Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror” by Gordon B. White (short story/flash) - A wicked little story that hits a nice meta note, where the second person you are a patron of Gordon B. White, who proceeds to haunt your house, not with himself but with other ghosts, and who has a rather nice scheme going to make some money, reaching out from the piece to make the second person you the literal you in a nice flourish. A fun and fantastic read! Patreon, Postcards, Ghosts, Hauntings, Bargains. CW- Death/Dismemberment. [c2 t3]
  • “The Returned” by Stephanie M. Wytovich (poem) - A creepy piece that for me speaks of the weight of injustice, of violence, of abuse, of all the things that have been buried, hoping to keep those things forgotten, almost undone. But instead of erasing those wrongs, they piled up and now are spilling free, have come back in the form of a shadow, a shape, a being who heralds a change and an ending. A Devil, in all the ways that can mean, who is here, who was really never absent, but who might now make their presence more fully known. A chilling but great read!
A fine issue from Nightmare Magazine this month, which offers up a poem, some flash, and a longer and chilling tale. There’s a strong sense of returns throughout, of things that have to be revisited. Sometimes to put them to rest, to make them right, but sometimes not. Sometimes just to circle back to them, touch them again, and be unsettled all over again. A strong issue!

Lightspeed #134 (6 short stories total)
  • “Miss the Zen, but Miss You More” by Everdeen Mason (short story) - A story of Bei Bei, a woman who signed up for a kind of meditation space. Only the seclusion, the lack of social media, the lack of interaction at all, isn’t exactly helping, especially not after her AI assistant seems to show up with some...scary issues. The piece is slow and increasingly intense, a rollercoaster of emotions and action, a slowly resolving horror that doesn’t exactly resolve, that bleeds the line between dream and reality, between self and mask, and that is definitely a story to spend some time with! Space, Sensory Deprivation, Darkness, AIs, Social Media. CW- Eating Disorders, Captivity/Confinement, Blood. [c4 t4]
  • “A Smell of Jet Fuel” by Andrew Dana Hudson (short story) - A story of time travel as the narrator is a tour guide inside the Towers on 9/11. When disaster is business as usual, though, actual calamity takes the form of a woman who seems to know way more than she’s letting on and who doesn’t seem to quite belong in the group. What follows is a look at history and change, and a rather neat twist in the idea of time travel, the role of small changes, and the horror of a changed timeline. A fine read! Time Travel, Alternate Timelines, Family, Tours. CW- Pregnancy, Disaster/Death/Terrorism, 9/11. [c4 t4]
  • “No Lies Detected” by Russell Nichols (short story/flash) - A quick story about a Boy and his father, who has just gifted his son with a modification that allows him to see if a person is telling the truth or not. A handy ability, except that it’s immediately used by Boy to see through the lies the narrator tells about the world and their situation. Not that it isn’t a dangerous place, not that the narrator doesn’t have good reasons for what he’s doing, but that Boy must stay quiet, stay isolated, in order to live. It’s a sharp piece about choice and freedom, and Boy has a novel solution for reaching for his. A great read! Truth, Lies, Family, Augmented Reality, Paradoxes. CW- Danger/Guns. [c3 t3]
  • “How to Become an Ancestor” by Nicole Sconiers (short story/flash) - Another quick read but also wrenching and deep, following a murdered woman through her transformation from living being to ancestor, to being a part of a mural of a brutal history, and a resilient hope that the future might get better, or at least that some people will survive it, no matter what. It’s a quiet piece that doesn’t dwell so much on the injustice of what happened, not the event itself, but on her, and the ways she’s changed, and the trembling beauty that is left to her. A powerful read! Clubs, Ghosts, Colors, Music. CW- Murder, Police Violence/ACAB. [c3 t3]
  • “Innocent Bird” by Rachel Swirsky (short story) - A beautiful story about Shoko, a girl who is growing wings. Who is dealing with her simmering resentment and fear surrounding her mother abandoning her and how her own budding love for another girl makes her feelings twisted and sharp. The piece is careful and quiet and messy and I like the way it gives Shoko room to be hurt and hurtful, a child in many ways and mature in so many more. It’s a nicely balanced story for me, hinged on the desire for love and the distrust of it thanks to trauma. A wonderful read! Family, Wings, Queer MC, School, Love. CW- Abandonment (by Parent), Unwanted Transformation. [c3 t3]
  • “Amber Dark and Sickly Sweet” by Lulu Kadhim (short story) - A grim look at what happens to women in a setting whose bodies become homes to hives. Who are colonized by bees and then taken in by tea rooms run by nuns who use the women as sex workers/slaves. The piece is heavy with the ways the women don’t have choices, the ways they try and stay together, stay safe, and how illusory it is, how intangible when their lives have been so marked, so damned. An uncomfortable and sharp piece that is definitely worth checking out! Bees, Hives, Tea, Tapestries, Parties. CW- Body Horror, Sex Slavery/Rape/Assault, Suicide. [c5 t4]
Big new things happening at Lightspeed! Or, well, maybe little new things? Because, well, flash fiction has arrived, replacing two of the reprints with new original fiction. So there’s now three short stories in both science fiction and fantasy to check out. And it’s a lot of good stuff this month, with stories heavy with loss and grief and veined with hope and possibility. A solid issue!

Beneath Ceaseless Skies #333 (2 novelettes total)
  • “For the World’s More Full of Weeping” by Andrew Dykstal (novelette) - A story of the faerie and those who follow in the wake of mortals making foolish bargains, trying to set things to right. Tarrow is half fae herself, and tasked with finding the missing son of a wealthy couple, though a couple also harboring a grim secret in their past. The piece is well paced and I love the flirty play between Tarrow and Whitesmith, the bickering, the fun. The piece looks at bargains and the way that animosity and hate tend to twist people, make them more like each other, each more and more vicious. In that, it’s not really a happy story, but it’s one that looks at a broken situation and acknowledges it, explores it, and ultimately walks away from it, which is an interesting and resonating decision. A wonderful read! Faerie, Bargains, Family, Iron, Illusions. CW- Abuse, Murder, Hanging/Executions, Blood/Violence. [c4 t4]
  • “The Witness of Brûska Lai” by Aaron Perry (novelette) - A wonderfully constructed and layered story that finds Brû, a professional witness, pulled into a search for a missing royal in a city outside of time, in a Confluence that works to try and bring about a better future for the city resting under and around it in the “present.” Only Brû’s true role is something she has to discover for herself, and I just love the way that she is responsible for seeing births and deaths, for having this second sight, and how that plays into what her mission is and what she discovers in the Confluence. It’s a beautiful story with some sweeping and haunting world building, and I love were the story goes and how it ends, with something profound and fragile all at once. A death and a new birth. A fantastic read! Cities, Governments, Royalty, Sight, Time Travel. CW- Death, Assault, Execution, Suicide. [c3 t3]
This issue revolves around a pair of investigations. Searches. Both for people who had reasons for going missing, for not being where they had been. Both with outcomes that the people initiating the investigations were very much not expecting. Neither of them entirely hopeful, but both of them very aware of human faults and what it takes to try and live with agency and care. A great issue!

Works read this year to date: 695 stories, 198 poems (+33 stories, +5 poems)

Not a super poetry-heavy week, though not entirely absent it, either. I was actually expecting more from F&SF and was a little surprised there was only the one. But I’m still relatively new to reading the publication, so it might be normal to fluctuate between having more and less. A whole lot of stories to cover, though, including six novelettes, so things did range on the long side. Mostly the news is that I’m just rather behind. It’s going to be a busy month, what with F&SF, Uncanny, & Apex doing their bimonthly thing and Fiyah, Kaleidotrope, and a few others having quarterly releases. And I will be covering the 30 stories in Decoded Pride #2. Just need to get around to that… Heh.

But so it goes. Busy is nothing new to me. It means that I haven’t had too much time for other things. I mean, there’s still my books coming out in the rapidly nearing future. There’s a lot of work to be done around the house (I’m refinancing, too, and I forget if I mentioned that). Media-wise, husband and I are into the Mooney seasons of Death in Paradise, and I do think he’s my favorite so far, at least in the way that the show dropped any kind of romantic tension between the detective and his DS. Florence is the ace aro side character of my heart, and she certainly kicks some ass at the same time. I also finished the first season of Mystery Incorporated and just…huh. Like, it’s still bizarre to me to try and do a less episodic format with the material. I don’t think it’s super successful, even as it has its charm. A mess of a show.

But that’s about it for me. Still trying! Hopefully you’re all doing okay. Cheers!


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