Review of Compelling #11 for Tangent

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)

Honorable mention:

  • “Driving Force” by Tom Jolly (science fiction short story)

Review of Clarkesworld #141 for Tangent

This issue of Clarkesworld includes three novelettes (one approaching novella length) and two short stories (one approaching flash brevity). They feature robots (with or without AI), magic aliens and post-humans, and surrealism. While this issue is not wall-to-wall depression and dystopia, only one of the stories comes close to being light on its feet. Or foot.

Full review at Tangent: Clarkesworld #141, June 2018.

Review of May/June 2018 Analog for Tangent

This issue of Analog has no story (unless “Hubpoint”) that you might not find in Asimov’s or some other magazine and seems oddly arranged, starting with a novella, moving to a novelette, and then to a solid wall of short stories but there’s actually a mislabeled novelette (“Base Pair”) hiding in there. Even so, there are proportionally way too many short stories and many of them are very short indeed (four are shorter than the 2500 word Probability Zero and a couple more aren’t much longer). The quality drops significantly towards the end but the issue is fair overall, with several decent tales and one superb one.

Full review at Tangent: Analog, May/June 2018


  • “The Last Biker Gang” by Wil McCarthy (science fiction novella)

Honorable  Mention:

  • “While You Sleep, Computer Mice™ Earn Their Keep” by Buzz Dixon (science fiction short story)

Review of Pulphouse #2 for Tangent

The reanimated Pulphouse is back with issue #2. The kickstarter made a point of saying that “Pulphouse has no genre restrictions” and this issue’s editorial offers an explanation regarding Pulphouse‘s unlabeled reprints. Here at Tangent, we do follow genre restrictions and label reprints [in the contents listing], which shows that, leaving aside the quality of the total fiction, there’s simply not much new fiction of genre interest in this issue….

Full review at Tangent: Pulphouse #2, April 2018.

Review of On Spec #107 for Tangent

The 107th number of On Spec brings us two familiar science fictional dystopias and five fantasies of much greater variety, ranging from superpowers to magic rites to battles with rogue familiars to the afterlife, the latter of which is the most appealing tale.

Full review at Tangent: On Spec #107, Vol. 28, No. 4, April 2018.


  • “Death and Natalie, Natalie and Death” by Jordan Taylor


(Incidentally, it’s (approximately) my third Tanniversary. My first review for Tangent appeared on April 22nd, 2015  and this is my 60th. Oddly, On Spec is a Canadian magazine while that first review was of Tesseracts, a Canadian anthology.)