Review: Nightmare #81, June 2019 (at Tangent)

Neglected to include an issue-wide introduction to quote as a teaser but it’d have been something like “This month’s issue of Nightmare brings us two original stories whose possibly interesting cores are marred in part by their narrative strategies.”

Continue reading at Tangent.

(Incidentally, I promise the next review will be directly on this very blog.)

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Review: The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF: Volume 5 (at Tangent)

The fifth edition of The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF opens with a preface by the editor who muses on the series’ five-year voyage before giving way to an introduction by David Weber who again muses on the horrors of war coupled with the benefits of speculating on it and its future.

Despite the introduction, only half of this anthology is military SF, with the other half fitting better under the “Adventure” portion of the title. Stephen Lawson’s superb “Homunculus” is a case in point….

Continue reading at Tangent.

Review: DreamForge #2, June 2019 (at Tangent)

A new printzine isn’t something you see every day.

The second issue of DreamForge is subtitled “Tales of Indomitable Spirit” and ten of its eleven flash pieces are placed under that heading. It also contains five original stories, a reprint, a poem, a submission guide, and an editorial. The latter is a stirring call to reason which characterizes SF&F as “the literature of ideas, not the bulletins of despair” and concludes with an Asimov quote. Given that, it was disappointing that three of the longer stories were species of fantasy and the two others had minimal sfnal idea-content. However, the flash pieces tended more towards SF. Many of the stories feature young protagonists but it wasn’t until “Lightweight” that I realized that this issue would be an excellent thing to hand a young reader with its mostly straightforward plots and prose and its abundant artwork. For other readers, the biggest flaw was that the plots were often resolved too easily but the overall quality of this promising magazine was still interesting-to-good.

Continue reading at Tangent.

Recommended:

  • “I See Punk Elephants” by Blake Jessop (science fiction short story)
  • “Pioneer” by Mark Gallacher (science fiction short story)

Honorable Mentions:

  • “Sid” by Andrew Jensen (fantasy short story)
  • “The Weight of Mountains” by L. Deni Colter (fantasy short story)

Links: 2019-06-06

D-Day

Just a string of anniversaries lately. Seventy-five years and we’re in danger of losing what they fought for but we honor them for that fight and those great years we’ve received.

Science Fiction

Science

Other

Politics

Language

History

Humor

Music

Goo-d music…

Continue reading

Another Date Which Will Live in Infamy

The next installment of the Mueller report coverage (which describes a staggering amount of asphyxiating smoke yet claims to be unable to find a fire) is available if you wish to see it but there’s some interesting timing as I made an extremely rare political post and yet am compelled to do so again the very next day. This one gets closer to the topic of science fiction in that I mentioned awhile ago possibly blogging about the connections between China and SF. I wish all the people who buy Chinese fiction (which is emitted from a state of dictatorship and censorship) and all those Western SF writers who go to writing “camps” sponsored by the Chinese corporation/government (writers who should count themselves lucky not to be sent to China’s other “camps”) would rethink their “engagement” with China. As Wu’er Kaixi, a surviving protester living in Taiwan says at the top of the NewsHour (not included in the clip below), “We lost and the Western world adopted this China policy – they call it ‘engagement’ – I just call it ‘appeasement.'”

(I’d hope it would go without saying but, just in case, I want to make clear that my issue is only with the current dictatorial regimes of Russia and China and obviously not with the Russian or Chinese people, as such.)

Review: Lightspeed #108, May 2019 (at Tangent)

This month’s Lightspeed stories move from a longer novelette to a shorter one and then to a short story and a shorter one. The last two avoid direct narrative and the first and last (arguably) avoid genre commitments. Coincidentally or not, the issue’s best tale is the second, which is a science fiction narrative, though even it doesn’t stick the landing.

Continue reading at Tangent.