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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

OSC InterGalactic Medicine Show #42, Nov./Dec. 2014

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InterGalactic Medicine Show #42, Nov./Dec. 2014

 

Wine for Witches, Milk for Saints” by Rachael K. Jones
Eli Whitney and the Cotton Djinn” by Zach Shepard
A Dragon's Doula” by M. K. Hutchins
Fire Born, Water Made” by Adria Laycraft
The Burden of Triumph” by Samuel Marzioli

Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia

In “Wine for Witches, Milk for Saints” by Rachael K. Jones, Nico the Tinker works at the hospital, routinely saving children's lives by turning them into puppets, replacing their broken parts, and then turning them back into children. Nico dresses up as Santa and glibly promises to heal one of the children before Christmas, but as Christmas approaches, he realizes that it's a promise that he may not be able to keep. Jones makes us feel sorry for bumbling Nico as he balances his Saint Nick act with a bit of la Befana. An action story with intriguing magic and a complex character.

Eli Whitney and the Cotton Djinn” by Zach Shepard is a light-hearted fantasy comedy detailing the accidental invention of the Cotton Gin, thus the pun in the title. Shepard puts a fun twist on Djinn mythology that puts Eli Whitney in the middle of a god-like battle to the death.

A Dragon's Doula” by M. K. Hutchins explores what it means to be a family, even a dragon family. When Doula Fern arrives to attend to a hatching dragon egg, she must delve into the family's dysfunction so that the baby will be born in an emotionally stable environment, which will reduce the risk of objects spontaneously combusting around the house. The characters' emotional responses, and therefore the story events, are predictable.

In “Fire Born, Water Made” by Adria Laycraft, fire princess Chahna races to find a cure for her starving newborn. Breastfeeding is integral to the plot, making Chahna's story of maternal sacrifice a bit of a rarity. Clean story telling and a strong structure bring Laycraft's high fantasy tale full circle.

The Burden of Triumph” by Samuel Marzioli follows an alien hatchling as it struggles to process its ancestral memories in an unfriendly environment. This short SF piece is a clever study of Otherness with high attention to detail.


Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.