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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993
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A Metal Box Floating Between the Stars, and Other Stories by Jamie Lackey

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A Metal Box

 

Floating Between the Stars

 

and Other Stories


 

by

 

Jamie Lackey


 

(Air and Nothingness Press, March 2018, pb, 166 pp.)


 


A Metal Box Floating Between Stars”

What Comes After” (reprint)
Losing Home” (reprint)
Broken Promises” (reprint)
What Waits Out There” (reprint)
Painting the Sky with Shooting Stars” (reprint)
For Your Time” (reprint)
Abram’s Choice” (reprint)
Day by Day”
Larva Mother” (reprint)
Remembering Jacob” (reprint)
Rainbow Spores” (reprint)
Real Life”
Our Pills Help”
The Ambivalence of Memory” (reprint)
The Dedication of the Ama Pillay Monument”
The Retired Angel of Death” (reprint)
Songs of Rotting Petals, Dances of Wilting Leaves” (reprint)
The Beautiful Purple Sky”
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The Clingerman Files, edited by Mark Bradley

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The Clingerman Files

 

Collected Works

 

by Mildred Clingerman

 

Edited by Mark Bradley

Foreword by Richard J. Chwedyk

 

(Size 5 ½ B Publishing, Nov. 2017, pb, 306 pp.)

 

"First Lesson"
"Stickney and the Critic"
"Stair Trick"
"Minister Without Portfolio"
"Birds Can’t Count"
"The Word"
"The Day of the Green Velvet Cloak"
"Winning Recipe"
"Letters from Laura"
"The Last Prophet"
"Mr. Sakrison’s Halt"
"The Wild Wood"
"The Little Witch of Elm Street"
"A Day for Waving"
"The Gay Deceiver"
"Red Heart and Blue Roses"
"Little Girl"
"Tutti Fruitti Delight"
"The Stray"
"The Man who Stole Tomorrow"
"Grandma’s Refuge"
"Sorrow for the Need"
"You Remember Charles?"
"Size 5 1/2 B"
"Apologia"
"The Tea Party"
"The Vine"
"Tribal Customs"
"A Window for Mr. Stevens"
"The Man Eater"
"The List"
"The Telling Day"
"Threading a Closed Loop"
"Top Hand"
"A Time to be Bold"
"The Birthday Party"
"A Stranger and a Pilgrim"
"On the Nicer Side"
"The Fathers of Daughters"
"Watermelon Weather"
"A Note from Eleanor"
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Walls and Wonders by S. R. Algernon

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Walls and Wonders

 

 

by

S. R. Algernon

 

 

(ReAnimus Press, January 2018, pb, 323 pp.)

 
 
"Witness"
"The Meme Hunter"
"Election Day"
"Symbiosis"
"Sculptors"
"Achievement"
"Severance"
"Thicker than Water"
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Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade, ed. William Ledbetter

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Jim Baen Memorial Award:

The First Decade

 

 

Edited by

William Ledbetter

 

 

(Baen, November 2017, tpb, 339 pp.)

 

A Better Sense of Direction” by Mjke Wood

Letting Go” by David Walton
Cathedral” by Michael Barretta
Space Hero” by Patrick Lundrigan
That Undiscovered Country” by Nancy Fulda
Taking the High Road” by R.P.L. Johnson
The Lamplighter Legacy” by Patrick O’Sullivan
Low Arc” by Sean Monaghan
We Fly” by K.B. Rylander
Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden
Citizen-Astronaut” by David D. Levine
Gemini XVII” by Brad R. Torgersen
Scramble” by Martin L. Shoemaker
Balance” by Marina J. Lostetter
To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek
Cylinders” by Ronald D. Ferguson
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Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers

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Down and Out in Purgatory:

The Collected Stories of Tim Powers

 

by Tim Powers

 

With a Foreword by David Drake

and

Introduction by Tony Daniel

 

(Baen, November 2017, 487 pp., hc)

 

Salvage and Demolition”

The Bible Repairman”

Appointment on Sunset”

The Better Boy” by Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock

Pat Moore”

The Way Down the Hill”

Itinerary”

A Journey of Only Two Paces”

The Hour of Babel”

Where They Are Hid”

We Traverse Far” by Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock

Through and Through”

Night Moves”

Dispensation”

A Soul in a Bottle”

Parallel Lines”

Fifty Cents” by Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock

Nobody’s Home”

A Time to Cast Away Stones”

Down and Out in Purgatory”

Sufficient Unto the Day”

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The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories by KJ Kabza

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The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories

 

 

by

KJ Kabza

 

 

(Pink Narcissus Press, January 2018, 348 pp., pb)

 

 
The Leafsmith in Love”
The Color of Sand”
The Ramshead Algorithm”
Night and Day”
The Flight Stone”
Steady on Her Feet”
The Soul in the Bell Jar”
Heaventide”
We Don’t Talk About Death”
All Souls Proceed”
You Can Take it With You”
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The Blood of Four Gods by Jamie Lackey

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The Blood of Four Gods

 


by

Jamie Lackey

 

 

(Air And Nothingness Press, September 2017, pb, 151pp.)

 

 
River Dragon’s Curse”
Beyond the Reach of Moonlight”
The Steam Lord’s Autumn Ruby”
Rekindled Dreams”
Fox-woman”
The Blood of Four Gods”
The Place of Fear”
The Sour Thread of Doubt”
Citali’s Song”
Quetzalcoatl’s Conquistador”
The Balance Between Strength and Wisdom”
Jealous Idols”
Of Dreaming and Destiny”
The Value of Weakness”
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Go Forth and Multiply, edited by Gordon Van Gelder

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Go Forth and Multiply:

Twelve Tales of Repopulation

 

Edited by

Gordon Van Gelder

 

(Ramble House/Surinam Turtle Press, July 2017, tpb, 312 pp.)

 

No Land of Nod” by Sherwood Springer
On the Care and Breeding of Pigs” by Rex Jatko
Created He Them” by Alice Eleanor Jones
The Windows of Heaven” by John Brunner
The Queen Bee” by Randall Garrett
Eve Times Four” by Poul Anderson
The Girls and Nugent Miller” by Robert Sheckley
Prime Essential” by E. C. Tubb
Not with a Bang” by Damon Knight
Another Rib” by John Jay Wells & Marion Zimmer Bradley
Mother to the World” by Richard Wilson
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang” by Kate Wilhelm
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The Doppler Effect: And Other Stories by Allen M. Steele

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The Doppler Effect:

And Other Stories

 

by

Allen M. Steele

 

(Positronic Publishing, April 2017, 206 pp.)

 

The Doppler Effect”
Frogheads” (from Old Venus, ed. George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, Bantam, 2015)
Einstein’s Shadow” (from Asimov’s SF, January 2016)
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I Stole You: stories from the fae by Kristen Ringman

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I Stole You:

stories from the fae

 

by

 

Kristen Ringman

 

 

(Handtype Press, June 2017, pb, 108 pp.)

 

 

Reviewed by Nicky Magas

They're all around us, the unseen, the mysterious, the fae. They watch, they stalk, and they love. They steal our hearts, our souls, and our bodies. They are selfish and egalitarian. They are reflections of ourselves. They are everywhere, and they are hungry.

Kristen Ringman presents fourteen short stories of love and consumption in her collection, I Stole You. Each story, told from the perspective of a fae from a different part of the world, tells the tale of the end of a human life. From mournful forest nymphs to vampires to enchanted dogs, Ringman takes readers into a new world and new lives with each story.

The central theme of the collection is life on the outside. Many of Ringman's characters are deaf or have had exposure to the world of deafness. Ringman brings the isolation of that situation to life in the remote settings of her stories and the deeply personal nature of loss, suicide, and internal exploration. It is hard for readers who have never experienced deafness to truly understand the bubble of remoteness that deafness creates, but Ringman does a great job of expressing the concept in ways that are easily accessible to readers, bringing them more fully into the world she wishes to represent.

In spite of their shortness, the stories are beautifully written. Many of them present as little more than vignettes of a brief encounter between human and fae, and the lyrical style Ringman chooses throughout the collection, coupled with the serene outdoor setting of most of the stories, brings a sense of calm to the book no matter how dark the subject matter gets.

Ringman knits the collection together with a consistent first person fae perspective, beginning each story with the phrase, "I stole you." This gives the collection cohesion and combined with the lyrical style, a sense of the poetic. Unfortunately, taken strictly as fantasy prose, this decision actually does a bit of a disservice to each individual story. Although the stories themselves are varied in content and setting, the narrative voices remain more or less indistinguishable from one story to the next. What gives the collection as a whole uniqueness and cohesion robs the individual stories of flavor. This is especially disappointing in the context of the rich and varied cultural backgrounds from which the stories are told.

The short length of the stories likewise restricts the amount of space to tell a story with fully rounded characters. Shortcuts are taken to have characters automatically understand each other either in language or context or both. With few exceptions, there is little tension in each story, and one tends to placidly bleed into another. After reading the first few stories, it's fairly intuitive to figure out how the rest will play out.

It is therefore best recommended that readers walk into this book expecting literary prose. The short, highly stylized stories are forgivably experimental in this light and leave readers with a pleasant sense of the serene.

 
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