In this particular issue, I quite liked Basil Hawthorne and the Cliff Tomb by E Catherine Tobler, which describes an old fashioned adventurer and his brush with the spirit of Hatshepsut in one of her tombs. I liked the style of the writing it was a short piece but well rendered. I liked that almost Indiana Jones feel to a bit of swashbuckling adventure.
A Mirror, Darkly by Keith Stevenson struck a chord for different reasons. It is set around where I live, so the references to places I’m familiar with was both cool and a bit distracting. It is a horror story and well written. This kind of story isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I found myself intrigued right through to the (somewhat grisly) end.
I also enjoyed Children of War by Rachel Zakuta. This story, describing some of the aftermath of humanities rebellion against alien overlords, was interesting. I didn’t feel a strong connection with any of the characters, but I thought it described the detail of the universe well in a very short period of time. The end was a little unsatisfying, but did fit in with the rest of the story.
Now you won’t hear me say this often about poetry, but I actually liked Lacking an Adequate Metaphor for the Human Brain by Darrell Schweitzer. The layout of the poem was cool, the content was witty and the subject matter interesting. I like the thought of hyper intelligent but zen like goldfish.
Merchant’s Run by Calie Voorhis was a fun story to read, describing the adventures of Merchant and her ship Old Maid’s Mercy in the far future, and in particular the perils of dealing with bubbles in the pirate trade economy. I liked the style of the writing and it was consistently amusing all the way through.
Nessa 1944 by Ellen C Glass was an enjoyable tale about the evolution of an AI told from the point of view of a high tech cleaner she befriends. The character of Robbie was well realised.
This is a quarterly magazine and there were a boatload of other stories/poems/articles, including:
- Bonsai by Robin Shortt
- Aberrant Artifacts Found in Two Owl Indian Mound by Lee Clark Zumpe
- The Household Debt by Chris Miles
- The Story of the Ship that Brought Us Here by Stephan Case
- The Birds, the Bees, and Thylacine by Thoraiya Dyer
- Following in Harlan’s Footsteps by Sandra M Odell
- A Cup of Smoke by Rachel Manija Brown
- The Tectonics of the Misty Mountains by Chris Large
- Review of the film Limitless by Jacob Edwards
I believe issue # 52 has just come out, looking forward to getting my copy.