I really enjoyed Undine Love by Kathleen Jennings. It has a real Australian sensibility, and I had a sense of looking through a small window at a part of a larger story. I like the idea of a family protecting Australia from the supernatural – would like to see more of it.
The Unseen Truths by Liz Colter is an interesting story that makes the metaphysical isolation that is often described in science fiction when a character has telepathy and makes it physical. I liked the idea of “mood masks” and I think the background to the world was deftly sketched in an economical fashion.
A Routine Diplomatic Incident by Ray Tabler. What can I say? I very fun romp, with libido-fueled ambassadors, pragmatic assistants, highly armoured space marines and a high speed race across an alien city using rocket boots. What’s not to like? I found the writing quick paced and funny. One of my favourite of the issue.
First, Do No Harm (Unless They’re Zombies) by Rachel Kolar. I know there are a lot of zombie stories out there at the moment, but I was entertained by this story where everyone has the zombie virus and medical workers have to be careful when a patient dies to ensure they can “put down” the newly activated zombie. The idea that a nurse needs good marksmanship scores as well good medical qualifications was interesting to say the least! It felt a bit like the start of a story rather than something that was entirely self contained, but good nonetheless.
Love As You Find It by Margaret Karmazin. Physically morphing, love slave for hire robots transcending their programming and attempting to take down an interstellar gangster. If that doesn’t make you want to have a read, I don’t know what will.
Taking Care by Pam L Wallace gives us an inkling of what might happen when a 12 year old becomes the man of the town when all the adults are dying out. I found the concept quite moving for such a short piece and well articulated.
The Masked Messenger by David Conyers and John Goodrich is one of the longer stories in this issue. Ancient gods, international terrorism, an Australian national security consultant on all things weird and a temple. Well written and executed with a good ending.
Zombie Dreams by Peter Cooper. Well, zombies should have dreams as well. A fun, short story well worth a read.
Also in this edition was:
- I Am Nano by Sean Monaghan
- Ronnie Linton, High School Flame by Dominik J Parisien
- The Undying Fans of an Unknown Cover Band by Nicky Drayden
- Midnight Rhino by Brenda Anderson
- Taking Over by Felicity Pulman
- Eternal Youth by Melanie Typaldos
- Wonder in Alice Land by Linda Jenner
- Speed of Darkness by G R McLeod
- The Last Resort by L K Pinaire
- Vivienne by Natalie Nikolovski
- Golden Years in the Paleozoic by Ken Liu
There was also poetry:
- City of Clay by Alexandra Seidel
- Broken Towers by Alexandra Seidel
- The Loneliness of the Long Distance Singer by Jack Horne