Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Interzone, Galaxy’s Edge & Forget the Sleepless Shores

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 7/18
Interzone 7-8/18
Galaxy’s Edge 7/18
Forget the Sleepless Shores, Sonya Taaffe (Lethe Press)

I was very impressed the last time I saw a Jo­anna Ruocco story in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and her latest such, “Stone, Paper, Stone“, in #38, does not disappoint, either. It’s about Sara Kasp, who lives in a town known for its limestone quarry. She is a ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Interzone, Galaxy’s Edge & Forget the Sleepless Shores

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Russell Letson Reviews Infinity’s End, Edited by Jonathan Strahan

Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris 978-1-78618-106-0, $14.99, 347 pp, tp) July 2018. Cover by Adam Tredowski.

For seven years and six volumes, editor Jonathan Strahan has been devising a con­sistently strong original anthology series that has engineered, reached, met, and bridged infinity from the edge onward (or inward?), and even gone to war in it. Now, in the seventh and last of the Infinity Project anthologies, we have ...Read More “Russell Letson Reviews Infinity’s End, Edited by Jonathan Strahan”

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Fireside, Giganotosaurus & Strange Horizons

Tor.com 6/20/18, 7/11/18
Clarkesworld 7/18
Fireside 7/18
Giganotosaurus 7/18
Strange Horizons 7/30/18

July also brings a special issue of Strange Hori­zons, with six stories guest edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Erin Roberts & Rasha Abdulhadi. The issue focuses on the Southeastern USA and writing by black, indigenous, and POC authors. I only saw four before this issue went to press, but they all pack a punch. Christopher Caldwell‘s ...Read More “Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Fireside, Giganotosaurus & Strange Horizons

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Stonecoast Review, Fireside Quarterly & Pulp Literature

F&SF 7-8/18
Stonecoast Review Summer ’18
Fireside Quarterly 9/18
Pulp Literature Summer ’18

The July-August F&SF features an im­pressive novella from a new writer, L.X. Beckett, “Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling“. Drow Whiting is a journalist and (for now) failed musician, and he’s in serious trouble, because a prominent singer just tried to commit suicide because of a bad review he wrote. That’s bad enough (says ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Stonecoast Review, Fireside Quarterly & Pulp Literature

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction from Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/21/18, 7/5/18, 7/19/18, 8/2/18, 8/16/18, 8/20/18

Starting out a new-to-me short fiction reviewing column, I find myself in the enviable position of having a lot of issues of Beneath Ceaseless Skies to catch up on. The blend of fantasy, dark fiction, and dreams present throughout the stories gives BCS a par­ticularly strong character. September marks its tenth anniversary, and editor Scott H. Andrews has brought out a ...Read More “Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction from Beneath Ceaseless Skies

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John Langan Reviews All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma and At the Mercy of Beasts by Ed Kurtz

All the Fabulous Beasts, Priya Sharma (Under­tow 9781988964027, $17.99, 288pp, tp) May 2018.

“The Crow Palace”, the opening story in Priya Sharma’s luminous debut collection, All the Fabu­lous Beasts, begins with its protagonist revisiting a childhood memory. When she was young, Julie tells us, living with her parents and twin in a large house in the English countryside, her father built a bird table, an arrangement of large ...Read More “John Langan Reviews All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma and At the Mercy of Beasts by Ed Kurtz”

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John Langan The Ones Who Are Waving by Glen Hirshberg

The Ones Who Are Waving, Glen Hirshberg (Cemetery Dance 9781587676314, $40.00, 208pp, hc) March 2018.

“Freedom is Space for the Spirit”, the first story in Glen Hirshberg’s excellent collection, The Ones Who Are Waving, is a tale of returns. It begins when Thomas, its protagonist, receives a telegram from Vasily, a friend from his youth, requesting his return to St. Petersburg. As a university student, Thomas left then-East ...Read More “John Langan The Ones Who Are Waving by Glen Hirshberg”

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Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: Nightmare, The Dark, and Dark Discoveries

Nightmare 7/18
The Dark 6/18
Dark Discoveries Spring ’18

Nightmare, issue 70, published, as usual, two originals. In “Kylie Land” by Caspian Gray, Ky­lie Eland lives by “Rules” that help him deal with life, but he doesn’t fit into high school any better than he does anywhere else. He makes friends with Michael Ramage, a shunned new student with a bad reputation, in hopes he can ...Read More “Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: Nightmare, The Dark, and Dark Discoveries

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Rich Horton Reviews Shades Within Us, Edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law

Shades Within Us, Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law, eds. (Laksa Media Groups) September 2018.

Shades Within Us is an anthology devoted to “Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders” and, almost predictably, the better stories are those less rigorously meeting the anthology’s theme. For example, Tonya Liburd‘s “Superfreak” does concern a young woman moving from Trinidad to Toronto, in order to escape her abusive uncle. Alas, ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Shades Within Us, Edited by Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law”

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Fireside Fiction, GigaNotoSaurus, Strange Horizons, and Augur

Fireside Fiction 6/18
GigaNotoSaurus 6/18
Strange Horizons 6/2/18 – 8/20/18
Augur 6/18

Fireside Fiction #56 provides four short pieces, of which the most memorable is “Cast Off Tight” by Hal Y. Zhang. A man is grieving the loss of his girlfriend when he realizes he can literally hear her when he touches her unfinished knitting project. A trip to the yarn store yields a new technology (thread ...Read More “Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Fireside Fiction, GigaNotoSaurus, Strange Horizons, and Augur

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Rich Horton Reviews Speculative Japan 4 Edited by Edward Lipsett

Speculative Japan 4, Edward Lipsett, ed. (in paperback and ebook from Kurodahan Press) April 2018.

Speculative Japan 4 is an anthology of SF and fantasy (and horror) from Japan – some recent, some from decades ago. Most of the stories are of a distinctly different flavor and focus than most recent anglophone SF, and different from, for example, the Chinese SF that we have seen a great deal of ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Speculative Japan 4 Edited by Edward Lipsett”

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Rich Horton Reviews Artificial Condition by Martha Wells and Twelve Tomorrows edited by Wade Roush

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing) May 2018.

Twelve Tomorrows, Wade Roush, ed. (The MIT Press) July 2018.

Artificial Condition is the second Murderbot novella from Martha Wells. (The first, All Systems Red, won the most recent Nebula and Locus Awards for Best Novella.) In this story, Murderbot, having gained somewhat ambiguous autonomy, plans to return to the scene of the killing spree it apparently engaged in ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Artificial Condition by Martha Wells and Twelve Tomorrows edited by Wade Roush”

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Tor.com, Shimmer, Apex, and Lightspeed

Clarkesworld 6/18
Tor.com 6/6/18
Shimmer 7/18
Apex 6/18
Lightspeed 7/18

I’d like to honor the debt I owe to Gardner Dozois: for several illuminating exchanges over the years, for many books, for his editing, and for his reviews. I was shocked and saddened when I heard about his sudden passing. I hope to follow in his footsteps, reading as widely as possible, promoting new voices and new perspec­tives, and getting ...Read More “Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Tor.com, Shimmer, Apex, and Lightspeed

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: The Paris Review, New Yorker, Asimov’s, and Analog

The Paris Review Summer ’18
New Yorker 6/4-11/18
Asimov’s 7-8/18
Analog 7-8/18

This month Karen Burnham steps in for the late and much-lamented Gardner Dozois, and we’re making changes to ensure Locus covers as much short fiction as possible. We’ve decided to split review sources between three reviewers: this column will cover primarily print magazines and anthologies, Karen will cover primarily online sources, and Paula Guran will continue her focus ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: The Paris Review, New Yorker, Asimov’s, and Analog

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Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: Shimmer, Uncanny, and Black Static

Shimmer 5/18
Uncanny 5-6/18
Black Static 5-6/18

The regular venues this column covers had quite a bit to offer as spring turned to sum­mer. Shimmer went spooky with all four stories in their 43rd issue. Katherine Kendig‘s “What the Skeleton Detective Tells You (while you picnic)” is dark “lite”: a cute reworking of a private eye yarn with a living skeleton detec­tive. “You, In Flux...Read More “Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: Shimmer, Uncanny, and Black Static

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Alien Virus Love Disaster by Abbey Mei Otis

Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories, Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer 978-1-618-73140-1, $16.00, 238pp, tp) August 2018.

As I’ve mentioned before, the better small presses cultivate a curatorial sensibility, a distinct personality which can be a reliable indicator that, whatever this new book is, it’s probably at least interesting. Small Beer Press is near the top of this list, and Alien Virus Love Disaster is a good example of what ...Read More “Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Alien Virus Love Disaster by Abbey Mei Otis”

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Promise of Space by James Patrick Kelly

The Promise of Space, James Patrick Kelly (Prime 978-1-607-01495-9, $15.95, 384pp, tp) July 2018.

In his afterword to The Promise of Space, James Patrick Kelly assures us that none of the 16 stories were included in his massive Centipede Press collection from a couple of years ago, the impos­ingly titled Masters of Science Fiction: James Patrick Kelly – which serves as an indication that his accomplished career as ...Read More “Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Promise of Space by James Patrick Kelly”

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Colleen Mondor reviews A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman, eds. (Greenwillow 978-0-06-267115-8, $17.99, 336pp, hc) June 2018.

In the introduction to A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, editors Elsie Chapman & Ellen Oh write of their deep love for myth and leg­end, something many readers will likely identify with. However, for Chapman and Oh, immersion in tales of Greek and Norse gods, while exciting, was always a bit ...Read More “Colleen Mondor reviews A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman”

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, LCRW, and Ian McDonald

Clarkesworld 5/18
Lightspeed 6/18
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 3/18
Time Was, Ian McDonald (Tor.com Publishing)

In the May Clarkesworld I liked Sally Gwylan‘s “Fleeing Oslyge” most. It’s set on a colony planet which has been overtaken by the Tysthänder, who have used overwhelming power to subdue the colo­nists, apparently with the aim of removing them from the planet. Their motives are fuzzy – environmental perhaps? Or ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, LCRW, and Ian McDonald”

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction from Tor.com, Analog, and Asimov’s

Tor.com 5/18
Analog 5-6/18
Asimov’s 5-6/18

Just as I was preparing this month’s column I heard the stunning news of the hospitalization, rapid decline, and death, of my colleague here at Locus, Gardner Dozois. Gardner was not just my colleague, both as Locus short fiction columnist and as anthologist, he was a friend. He treated me from the first as an equal, as I surely was not; always happy ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction from Tor.com, Analog, and Asimov’s

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Rachel Swirsky Reviews The Underwater Ballroom Society Edited by Tiffany Trent & Stephanie Burgis

The Underwater Ballroom Society, Tiffany Trent & Stephanie Burgis, eds. (Five Fathoms Press, $4.99, 330pp, eb) April 2018.

Around the turn of the last century, speculator and con man Whitaker Wright built an underwater aquarium and smoking room beneath one of the lakes stippling his mansion’s grounds. Due to its shape, the room came to be referred to as a ballroom. A description from a 1903 article in The ...Read More “Rachel Swirsky Reviews The Underwater Ballroom Society Edited by Tiffany Trent & Stephanie Burgis”

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Mad Hatters and March Hares Audiobook, Edited by Ellen Datlow

Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Ellen Datlow, ed.; C.S.E. Cooney & Eric Michael Summerer, narrators (Tantor Audio 978-1-5414-1327-6, $42.99, 10 CDs, 12.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) December 2017.

It is an interesting experience to listen to an anthology inspired by two so intensely visual books. Both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking ...Read More “Amy Goldschlager Reviews Mad Hatters and March Hares Audiobook, Edited by Ellen Datlow”

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Clarkesworld, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies

F&SF 5-6/18
Clarkesworld 4/18
Beneath Ceaseless Skies 4/12/18, 4/26/18

In the May-June F&SF my preferred sto­ries were from relatively new voices. Pip Coen‘s first stories appeared last year, and Brian Trent has only been publishing a bit longer. Coen’s “Inquisitive” is the tale of the life of a decidedly non-neurotypical young woman, Saffi Kenyon, and her school career, in which her blunt inquisitiveness puts her on the ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Clarkesworld, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Lightspeed, Tor.com, and Giganotosaurus

Lightspeed 5/18
Tor.com 4/11/18
Giganotosaurus 2/18, 3/18, 4/18

The SF in the May Lightspeed interested me most. Carolyn Ives Gilman’s “We Will Be All Right” is a very short, dark reflection on a future in which a gender-based pathogen kills men when their lovers conceive. The narrator is ready to meet her son’s girlfriend… as I said, it’s a short piece, and mostly a meditation, and quite ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Lightspeed, Tor.com, and Giganotosaurus

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and F&SF

Clarkesworld 3/18
Lightspeed 3/18
F&SF 3-4/18

The best story in the March Clarkesworld, and one of the best stories published so far this year, is “The Persistence of Blood” by Juliette Wade. This is a novella set in the midst of a complex alien culture made up of several different, rigidly enforced castes (as far as I can tell, no humans appear in the story), with ...Read More “Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and F&SF

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Tor.com, and Bourbon Penn

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/15/18
Lightspeed 4/18
Clarkesworld 3/18
Tor.com 2/18, 3/18
Bourbon Penn 3/18

In the May 15 issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Siobhan Carroll offers a powerful if slanted look at the course of a war in “The War of Light and Shadow, in Five Dishes”. A chef is captured by soldiers of the Iron Crusade, in the act of collecting an egg for his lord. ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Tor.com, and Bourbon Penn

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Horrible Consequences for Digital People

I suspect that science fiction will never run out of ways for things to go wrong with uploaded consciousness. Right now we can’t even simulate a mouse brain accurately, and maybe in the far distant future of Greg Egan’s Amalgam stories everything will be flawless (at least as far as the tech is concerned), but between now and then lies a vast and storyable gulf in which advances will be ...Read More “Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Horrible Consequences for Digital People”

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed

Asimov’s 3-4/18
Analog 3-4/18
Clarkesworld 2/18
Lightspeed 2/18

The March/April Asimov’s is a strong issue. Ray Nayler’s “A Threnody for Hazan” is melancholy story about a scientist who is trying to develop a dangerous, potently fatal method of time-travel, and her complex relation­ship with her colleague (and, eventually, lover) who is willing to give up everything in order to support her, even if it means losing her. ...Read More “Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Analog, and Asimov’s

F&SF 3-4/18
Analog 3-4/18
Asimov’s 3-4/18

Let’s begin with the March-April issues of the three leading digests. F&SF continues its strong recent run, with a March-April issue full of enjoyable work. Susan Palwick’s “Hideous Flowerpots” is a heart-warming story about a woman running a successful art gallery who isn’t happy, as evidenced by, among other things, her harsh reaction to people bringing her substandard art, and how ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Analog, and Asimov’s

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12, edited Jonathan Strahan

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris 978-1781085738, $19.99, 620pp, tp) April 2018. Cover by Adam Tredowski.

After many years – sometimes it feels like too many – of reading year’s best anthologies, I’ve come to the conclusion that they serve three different purposes for three different but over­lapping audiences. The first, and most obvious, is to provide a rich and ...Read More “Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12, edited Jonathan Strahan”

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies and The Father of Lies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2/1/18, 2/15/18
The Father of Lies, K.J. Parker (Subterra­nean) January 2018.

Science-fantasy” is a slippery term, one that’s changed over time, as demonstrat­ed in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, issues #244 and #245, the annual science-fantasy double issue. Using the strictest definition, any story that features “impossible” technol­ogy, technology far in advance of what can be achieved by today’s technical capabilities, is “science-fantasy.” I give a break ...Read More “Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies and The Father of Lies

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: BCS, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Galaxy’s Edge, Kaleidotrope, and Apex

Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2/1/18, 2/15/18, 3/1/18
Lightspeed 2/18, 3/18
Clarkesworld 1/18, 2/18
Galaxy’s Edge 1/18
Kaleidotrope Winter ’18
Apex 2/18

February is Science-Fantasy Month at Be­neath Ceaseless Skies, one of my favorite times! And as a bonus, this year it extends to the first day in March, so there are three is­sues of stories that mix SF and fantasy (often by describing SFnal situations in the language of ...Read More “Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: BCS, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Galaxy’s Edge, Kaleidotrope, and Apex

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