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

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Marriage Book, by Mitchell Shanklin

Publication logo
[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆

(Allegory) Newlyweds try to get by in a world there there’s not enough reality to go around, and where the things you write in your marriage book become part of your reality. (1,529 words; Time: 05m)


Fortune’s Final Hand, by Adam-Troy Castro

[Lightspeed]
★★★☆☆

(Afterlife) A girl named Fortune plays cards in an afterlife where you bet with memories. (7,485 words; Time: 24m)


Destinations of Joy, by Alexander Weinstein

[Lightspeed]
★★★☆☆

(Tour-Guide Fantasy) A tour guide to four cities on a new continent that recently appeared in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (2,290 words; Time: 07m)


She'd Never Had a Name Before, by J.R. Dawson

[Lightspeed]
★★★☆☆

(Multiverse) Jenna’s sister was stillborn, so it’s quite a surprise when she turns up fully grown in Jenna’s college apartment. (2,105 words; Time: 07m)


The Men Who Change the World, by Christopher East

[Lightspeed]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Alternate Reality) In a slightly different 1990s USA, Adam has a boring job doing data entry for one of the biggest companies in the world, when one night a stranger offers him a drink that changes everything. (7,252 words; Time: 24m)


The Ancestral Temple in a Box, by Chen Qiufan

[Clarkesworld]
★★★★☆ Clever and Surprising

(Virtual Reality) On his deathbed, a man implores his son to visit his plaque at their ancestral temple—which appears to exist in virtual reality. (5,530 words; Time: 18m)


The Perfect Sail, by I-Hyeong Yun

[Clarkesworld]
★☆☆☆☆

(SF Adventure) A wealthy woman has the multiverse searched for divergent versions of herself who’re near death, offering to add them to her personality, and they always accept. Up until now. (9,308 words; Time: 31m)


The Last to Die, by Rita Chang-Eppig

[Clarkesworld]
★★★☆☆ Good Start

(Transhuman SF) The arrival of a glass woman and her mute human companion disrupts the peaceful island life of the handful of humans who can’t or won’t upload to cyberspace. (5,913 words; Time: 19m)


The AI That Looked at the Sun, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko

[Clarkesworld]
★★☆☆☆

(AI Adventure) A “subroutine” on a science station observing the Sun tells how its desire to look at the sun led to it become truly intelligent. (4,695 words; Time: 15m)


Monster, by Naomi Kritzer

[Clarkesworld]
★★★★★ Overwhelming

(SF Thriller) Cecily goes in search of her highschool best friend, who seems to have hidden in China where he’s using her research to try to create enhanced human beings. (10,936 words; Time: 36m)


I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter, by Isabel Fall

[Clarkesworld]
★★★★☆ Provocative and Thought-Provoking

(Military SF) If gender has always been a construct, then why not construct new ones? Why not weaponize it for military use? (7,726 words; Time: 25m)

Although the author chose to withdraw this story following a sequence of attacks on Twitter, it is still available on Kindle to Clarkesworld subscribers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Claudette Dulac and the Devil of the North, by Genevieve Sinha

[BCS]
★★★☆☆

(Steampunk) When the Demon of the North takes her father, young Claudette teams up with a university professor to hunt it down and kill it. (5,583 words; Time: 18m)

Recommended By: 👍MHaskins+1 (Q&A)


These Wondrous Sweets, by Tony Pi

[BCS]
★★★☆☆

(Chinese Historical Fantasy; Candyman Ao) Ao needs to mislead unknown villains who’re harassing healers in Chengdu, but he’s still healing from his own wounds, and his magic isn’t as effective as it needs to be. (8,010 words; Time: 26m)

I recommend readers enjoy these sweet little stories starting from the beginning; they’re all available free online. That’s necessary to properly savor this adventure.

The Leader Principle, by Rahul Kanakia

[F&SF]
★★☆☆☆

(SF Thriller) An entrepreneur trying to build a Mars rocket sends his number-two guy out to raise desperately needed money by selling nearly worthless bonds. (4,673 words; Time: 15m)


The Nameless, by Melissa Marr

[F&SF]
★★☆☆☆

(High Fantasy) An all-female cliffside colony spends much of its time fighting off all-male invasion forces. A woman born of rape decides to take the war back to the invaders. (5,261 words; Time: 17m)


Three Gowns for Clara, by Auston Habershaw

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆

(Fairy Tale Pastiche) When the king offers to elevate a pretty girl to the rank of princess, seamstresses like Clara are mobbed, but the worst is the local Duke, who demands three outstanding dresses in the time needed for just one. (6,537 words; Time: 21m)


Interlude in Arcadia, by Corey Flintoff

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆

(Modern Fantasy) A professor of Greek Mythology watches his life unravel when he meet a naked girl on the street near his college. (3,127 words; Time: 10m)

Recommended By: 👍RHorton.r+1 (Q&A)


The Key to Composing Human Skin, by Julianna Baggott

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆

(Dystopia) A woman in a near-future propaganda firm comes up with a way for governments to reach out to recalcitrant citizens—by displaying messages on their skins. (6,506 words; Time: 21m)


Elsinore Revolution, by Elaine Vilar Madruga

[F&SF]
★★☆☆☆

(AI SF) The whole Globe matrix is threatened when an Ophelia unit starts refusing Shakespeare’s instructions to die. (681 words; Time: 02m)


Falling Angel, by Albert E. Cowdrey

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆

(Ghost Story) Roma and Butch go to Los Angeles to exorcise a ghost that’s haunting an old hotel that’s being converted to high-priced condos. (8,750 words; Time: 29m)