Thursday, March 22, 2018

Quick Sips - Beneath Ceaseless Skies #274

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is back to its regularly scheduled fantasy with two new stories exploring memory and nested narratives. In both, a character tells a story about a war. About battle. About death. And about a decision. A shift. A rebellion. Perhaps not always a huge one, but one that has far reaching consequences. In both stories there’s a focus on the decision to step away from following orders and embrace something different. Something uniting. Be it food or a faith in people, the stories show characters putting down their weapons and striving for a deeper understanding and compassion for those who would otherwise be their enemies. It’s a wonderful issue, and one I’m excited to review!

Art by Stefan Meisl

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

X Marks the Story - March 2018

Here's the list!

“The Emotionless, In Love”, Jason Sanford (published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #246, March 2018)
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, Phenderson Djèlí Clark (published at Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
“Five Tangibles and One”, D.A. Xiaolin Spires (published at Terraform SF, February 2018)
“Traces of Us”, Vanessa Fogg (published at GigaNotoSaurus, March 2018)
“Of Warps and Wefts”, Innocent Chizaram Ilo (published at Strange Horizons, March 2018)
“From the Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined”, AJ Fitzwater (published in Pacific Monsters, Fox Spirit Books, November 2017)

Plus there's more X-plorations to be found. Cheers!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Quick Sips - Uncanny #21 [March stuff]

March brings a bit of spring to Uncanny Magazine, with three stories and three poems that feature music and rebirth and love and hope. These are also stories and poems that look at places, though. At haunted houses and magnificent cities and hometowns. That look just as closely at relationships. At the way that interactions build. How in big cities inspiration can seem to grow out of the creativity concentrated in one spot, synergize into something bigger and bigger. How in smaller towns isolation can give way to resentment and fear and depression, but where single gestures can come to mean the universe. These are stories of friends and family, poems of art and love and prayer. And without further delay, the reviews!

Art by Nilah Magruder

Monday, March 19, 2018

Quick Sips - Shimmer #42 [March stuff]

It’s…well, it’s a bit of a strange month of stories from Shimmer Magazine. From a train-riding competitive eater to a woman transforming into a deer, the stories are heavy on the odd and magical. In both stories, the main characters deal with a setting that forces them into a role that they resist. But that, ultimately, seems too strong to just shrug off. These are stories of family obligations and the weight of cultural norms. For me, at least, the stories use the strange to highlight how surreal the world can be at times for some people, how it’s logic shifts and twists to suit the wills of those with power. It makes for an interesting experience, and I’ll get right to the reviews!

Art by Sandro Castelli

Friday, March 16, 2018

Quick Sips - Strange Horizons 03/05/2018 & 03/12/2018

Strange is indeed part of the name of Strange Horizons, so it should be no surprise that early March brings a bounty of weird stories and poems to the publication. From people living split lives between night and day, between genders, between husbands and wives, to a collector of moons, to a poem that’s also a game, to the boredom of immortals, the SFF on display in these two issues all take the familiar and give it a healthy twist. And yet in these strange takes on the world as we know it there’s a sort of carnival funhouse glimpse at humanity seen through new and interesting angles. Angles that might give us better insights into what it means to love and to yearn for. What it means to be alive, and be human, and struggle against all the ways we might fail, and dissolve. It’s a lovely collection of pieces that I’m going to get right to reviewing!

Art by Youheum Son

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quick Sips - Nightmare #66

March is apparently a month for doomed dogs at Nightmare Magazine, where the pair of original stories explore systems of oppression, cycles of violence, and young girls who just want to have fun with their doggos. Which…doesn’t really work out well for them. At least, both stories look at the ways that societies can almost passively abuse young girls. The ways that expectations and obligations (girls always lie, girls must sacrifice, etc.) merely create opportunities for predators to prey on them. These are two uncomfortable reads, that feature a looming and omnipresent threat of violence from beings very willing (gleefully so, in fact) of following through. But before I give too much away, let’s get to the reviews!

Art by Vukkostic / Fotolia