Review: Flash Fiction Online, October 2018

Flash Fiction Online, October 2018

Original Fiction:

  • “Words I’ve Redefined Since Your Dinosaurs Invaded My Lunar Lair” by Stewart C Baker (science fantasy short story)
  • “I Will You Back to Time and Space” by Dafydd McKimm (science fantasy short story)

Both of this issue’s original speculative tales are readable but not much more than that. “Words” was listed as science fiction but is a superhero/supervillain tale in which the good guy’s bioengineered dinosaurs invade the bad girl’s lair just like it says in the title and a series of words like ‘justice” and “victory” form the narrative structural gimmick which enlightens us about the nature of good and evil… or egalitarianism and elitism, whatever. This doesn’t bring anything more to the table than the numerous other tales which have trod the same ground. Similarly, “Will” was listed as fantasy but is semi-contemporary and makes quantum noises about the gorilla companions each human (except the narrator’s daughter) acquires as it talks about the power of parental drives and is not as convincing as other similar tales.

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Summation: September 2018

Edit (2018-10-12): added Analog review; updated noted stories, story/word count. (2018-10-17): as above, but for Galaxy’s Edge. (2018-10-24): as above, but for F&SF.

Apologies for taking so long to finish what I read for this month. I ended up reading 90 stories of about 533K words. That netted fourteen noted stories (four recs), with Lightspeed‘s special issue, Asimov’s, Analog, and Galaxy’s Edge contributing multiple tales.

In other magazine news, while I mentioned it in a “Links” post, I neglected to note in the last “Summation” that Grievous Angel (speculative microfiction) closed at the end of last month. This month, word came that the YA zine Cicada (which published SF & F as part of its mix) is now defunct.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • “In the Sharing Place” by David Erik Nelson, Asimov’s, September/October 2018 (short story)
  • Nine Last Days on Planet Earth” by Daryl Gregory, Tor.com, September 19, 2018 (novelette)

Fantasy

  • Jump” by Cadwell Turnbull, Lightspeed #100, September 2018 (short story)
  • Shadowdrop” by Chris Willrich, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #261, September 27, 2018 (novella)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

  • “3-adica” by Greg Egan , Asimov’s, September/October 2018 (novella)
  • “Hard Mary” by Sofia Samatar, Lightspeed #100, September 2018 (novelette)
  • “Harry and the Lewises” by Edward M. Lerner, Analog, September/October 2018 (novella)
  • “It Came from the Coffee Maker” by Martin L. Shoemaker, Analog, September/October 2018 (short story)
  • Lions and Gazelles” by Hannu Rajaniemi, Slate, September 27, 2018 (short story)
  • “We Mete Justice with Beak and Talon” by Jeremiah Tolbert, F&SF, September/October 2018 (short story)

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