Showing posts with label Review+2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review+2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Flags Flying Before a Fall, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu

Publication logo
[Strange Horizons]
★★☆☆☆

(High Fantasy) A very young man worships his absent older brother, who supports the whole family through his success as an athlete in illegal sporting events. (5,230 words; Time: 17m)


Friday, December 27, 2019

The Only Way Out is Through, by Setsu Uzumรฉ

[BCS]
★★★☆☆

(High Fantasy) Dagn just needs to get through the feast without the squabbling heirs to the throne realizing that she plans to let a rebel army into the fortress. (4,557 words; Time: 15m)


Scapegoat, by Holly Messinger

[BCS]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Weird West) In 1880, Boz and Trace come to a small, Kansas town where the locals are hostile and cause them to see hallucinations. A place where something truly terrible seems to have happened. (9,382 words; Time: 31m)

This is a nice introduction to the author’s “Trace and Boz” characters. This story is simple, but the characters are engaging.

Dislocation Space, by Garth Nix

[Single]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Historical SF) Stalin calls an imprisoned assassin back to duty for a special mission which involves her slipping through a tiny opening. (11,568 words; Time: 38m)


Into the Eye, by S.L. Harris

Publication logo
[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆

(Lovecraftian Pastiche) Unearthly creatures destroyed the Earth, but captain Moore aims to set things right through a mission that targets the maelstrom of Azathoth. (5,936 words; Time: 19m)

A deep familiarity with the works of H.P. Lovecraft is essential to appreciate this story.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Time Invariance of Snow, by E. Lily Yu

[Single]
★★★☆☆

(Fairy Tale Pastiche) In which grown up Gerda and Kay from “The Snow Queen” get separated, and she goes after him again, finding that much has changed and yet a lot is just the same. (2,892 words; Time: 09m)

Before reading this story, you should read “The Snow Queen,” by Hans Christian Anderson—or at least read a synopsis. Otherwise you won’t get much out of it.

The Garden's First Rule, by Sheldon Costa

[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Horror) People come to stare at a teen boy partly turned into a tree and planted in a garden, but he’s actually cool with it. Unlike the other kids in the exhibit. (6,542 words; Time: 21m)


End of the Sleeping Girls, by Molly Gutman

[Lightspeed]
★★☆☆☆

(Slipstream Apocalypse) Two tiny sisters who sleep in hollowed-out fruits have to relocate to town when their forest is logged. (6,311 words; Time: 21m)


The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles, by K.T. Bryski

[Lightspeed]
★★★☆☆

(Fairy Tale Pastiche) Everything we ever heard about Red Riding Hood was wrong. She actually had a thing for wolves. (2,255 words; Time: 07m)


A Bad Day in Utopia, by Matthew Baker

[Lightspeed]
★★☆☆☆

(Dystopia) The only men on Earth live in concentration camps, and a rare heterosexual woman goes to visit one. (4,280 words; Time: 14m)


Motherhood, by Pat Murphy

[Lightspeed]
★★☆☆☆

(SF) A senator faces consequences from an anti-abortion law he himself promoted. (1,138 words; Time: 03m)


Symbiosis Theory, by Choyeop Kim

[Clarkesworld]
★☆☆☆☆

(Fantasy Science) Scientists look for a link between an eccentric artist with “memories” of an alien planet and odd voices that only infants can hear. (8,918 words; Time: 29m)


Appointment in Vienna, by Gabriel Murray

[Clarkesworld]
Not Rated No Speculative Element

(Historical Fiction) In 1963, a photographer discusses a restrospective album with his editor. (10,114 words; Time: 33m)


Eclipse our Sins, by Tlotlo Tsamaase

[Clarkesworld]
★☆☆☆☆

(Climate Dystopia) Two children observe their mother’s horrible death as the spirit of the Earth, ravaged by climate change, forces her to give birth to death. (7,953 words; Time: 26m)


Annotated Setlist of the Mikaela Cole Jazz Quintet, by Catherine George

[Clarkesworld]
★★☆☆☆

(Generation Ship) A crew member describes the songs he and his friends made when they put together a band centuries from Earth and centuries from their destination. (6,764 words; Time: 22m)

This might be more fun for someone who really knows jazz well.

Witch of the Weave, by Henry Szabranski

[Clarkesworld]
★★★☆☆ Good Beginning

(Fantasy Adventure) After their host, the giant Motherman, fell, Percher and Skink struggle to survive on the surface, hoping to meet other people in a world completely strange to them. (7,298 words; Time: 24m)


Such Thoughts Are Unproductive, by Rebecca Campbell

[Clarkesworld]
★★★☆☆

(Dystopia) In a future Canada, a woman talks to her political-prisoner mother but wonders if it’s just an AI simulation of her. (6,584 words; Time: 21m)


Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Petals of the Godflower, by Kyle Kirrin

[BCS]
★★★☆☆

(Fantasy Horror) For the community to live, most young people need to sacrifice themselves to the Godflower before age 20, but the narrator has serious reservations. (4,068 words; Time: 13m)


Nameless in the Winged Court, by Rowenna Miller

[BCS]
★★★☆☆

(Fairy Tale Pastiche) A tiny young girl finds that marriage to the tiny king of the flowers isn’t everything she’d hoped it would be. (4,207 words; Time: 14m)

Note: This story picks up the tale of Thumbelina, so if you haven’t read the fairy tale yet, you probably should before reading this story (or at least read a synopsis.)

Precious Little Things, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

[Single]
★★★★☆ Charming

(High Fantasy; Made Things) Tiny homunculi of wood, glass, paper, etc. dwell in Arcantel’s tower, protected for centuries by powerful wards the arch mage created. But for the first time, they’re threatened by visitors. (6,921 words; Time: 23m)

This is set in the world of Made Things perhaps a century before that story, but there’s no overlap of plot or characters, so there’s no need to read that one before this one or vice versa.