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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993
Novellas, Chapbooks, Misc.


Water into Wine by Joyce Chng

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Water into Wine

 

 

by Joyce Chng

 

 

(Annorlunda Books, September 27, 2017, 62 pp., pb)


 

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The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery

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The Teardrop Method

 

 

 

by Simon Avery

 

 

 

(TTA Press Novellas Series #4, September 2017, pb, 160 pp.)

 

 

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The Necronaut by R. N. Jordan

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The Necronaut

 

by

R. N. Jorden

 

(Spaceboy Books, April 2017, pb, 120 pp.)

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Never, Now, Always by Desirina Boskovich

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Never, Now, Always

by

Desirina Boskovich

 

(Broken Eye Books, June 2017, pb, 98 pp.)

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The Product by Marina Fontaine

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The Product

 

by Marina Fontaine

 

(Superversive Press, October 2016, pb, 92 pp.)

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Caresaway by DJ Cockburn

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Caresaway

by

D J Cockburn

 

(Annorlunda Books, Jan. 2017, pb, 86 pp.)

 

Special Double Review by Laura Gobourn & Jen Finelli
 

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The Adventure of the Incognita Countess by Cynthia Ward

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The Adventure of the Incognita Countess”

 

by Cynthia Ward

 

(Aqueduct Press, January 2017, pb, 126 pp.)

 

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The Desolated Orchard by John F. D. Taff

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The Desolated Orchard

 

by John F. D. Taff


(Cutting Block Books, kindle edition June 2016,

print edition forthcoming)

 

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Zen City by Eliot Fintushel

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Zen City

by

Eliot Fintushel

 

(Zero Books, June 2016, pb, 125 pp.)

 

 

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The Sunken Cathedral by John. F. D. Taff

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The Sunken Cathedral

By John F. D. Taff

(Grey Matter Press, August 2015)

 

Reviewed by Stevie Barry

John F. D. Taff's "The Sunken Cathedral" is a disconcerting, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking novella of abuse and survival. The protagonist, Jake, narrates the history of molestation he suffered at the hands of the family priest when he was a child, and the ways in which it quietly destroyed him. Young and sheltered, he does not initially understand what Father Matt really wants of him, but, as a good altar boy, Jake wants to please the priest—no matter how wrong some of his requests might seem. The tale swiftly becomes deeply claustrophobic, and is rendered more complex by the revelation that Father Matt was himself abused by his priest, addressing the fact that, all too often, abuse is cyclical. As an adult, he thinks that perhaps his parents suspected something, because the family stopped going to church, but the issue was never formally addressed—something also all too common in reality.

The sinking of the titular cathedral is something only Jake is witness to, but it could easily also be read as a delusion of his increasingly fractured psyche. He wants to escape, but he is uncertain what it is he must escape from, and the cathedral is not risen from the water until he returns to the source of his personal demons and faces them.

Beautifully written, emotionally draining, this tragic story ends on an uplifting note, leaving the reader—and Jake—with hope rather than despair. Nevertheless, it might be best to have Kleenex on hand before sitting down with this one.

 


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