Compelling‘s second issue from its current semi-annual schedule brings us five more science fiction short stories, most of which deal with varieties of economics and/or forms of biotech and most of which have some interest, including one recommended story.
Full review at Tangent: Compelling #12, Winter 2018.
- “The Forest Eats” by Santiago Belluco (science fiction short story)
The final Galaxy’s Edge of 2018 brings us three flash fictions, two very short stories, two longer short stories, and one novelette. Unusually, all are SF except one of the shorter stories and, in a mathematically improbable way, it is one of the two best stories in this above-average issue.
Full review at Tangent: Galaxy’s Edge #35, November/December 2018.
- “Cat Lady” by Susan Taitel (fantasy short story)
- “A Waltz in Eternity” by Gregory Benford (science fiction novelette)
I neglected to write an introductory paragraph, so have nothing for the quote I usually include here, but this “issue” includes a revisionist fairy tale and an alien culture shock story.
Full review at Tangent: Diabolical Plots #44, October 2018.
If you’re not picky about genre, this issue of Black Static is a good one. A third of it is non-fantastic horror dealing with insanity. Oddly, the fantastic stories, while generally very readable, aren’t as good except for the last (fourth overall), which is superb and the best of the issue.
Full review at Tangent: Black Static #64, July/August 2018.
- “The Blockage” by Jack Westlake (non-speculative horror short story)
- “The Monstrosity in Love” by Sam Thompson (dark fantasy short story)
- “Why We Don’t Go Back” by Simon Avery (non-speculative horror novelette)
Solarpunk is composed of Brazilian stories from 2012 which aim to deal with green energy and ecology. The preface cites Le Guin, Callenbach, and Robinson as exemplars but notes that Brazilian green energy is not necessarily seen as an issue of the Left or as a good thing. It also notes that these stories are not as utopian as many on similar topics. My reading confirms this, as only a couple touch on things which are obviously political to this American and are often quite dark.
Full “Special Double Review” (Chuck Rothman and I both review this) at Tangent: Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World, ed. by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro.
The thirty-third issue of Galaxy’s Edge contains four reprints and nine originals. Of the latter, the Davitt, Kleijne, and Spires are strictly flash fiction, while the Nikolopoulos and Birch are less than two thousand words, and the Nickel and Leen are less than three. The heftiest stories are the Hodges at four and the Roberts at six. Five of the tales are fantasy and four are forms of SF. Regardless of genre, almost all are humorous or at least light and nearly as many provide some degree of enjoyment though those looking for tales of great complexity, depth, and angst will need to look elsewhere.
Full review at Tangent: Galaxy’s Edge #33, July/August 2018.
- “Resigned” by Floris M. Kleijne (science fiction short story)
On its new schedule as a semi-annual, this is Compelling‘s first issue after a six month break and it was worth the wait. In terms of quantity, with the help of a reprint, it has one more story than its ever had before, though the word count is not appreciably longer but, in terms of quality, I recommend two tales (almost three) and, while not quite on those levels, personally enjoyed a couple more.
Full review at Tangent: Compelling #11, Summer 2018.
- “Targeted Behavior” by J.D. Moyer (science fiction short story)
- “Redaction” by Adam R. Shannon (science fiction short story)
- “Driving Force” by Tom Jolly (science fiction short story)