There’s something Ballardian about the imagery of engines sitting under the sun on a remote desert, but it’s one of those stories I sometimes feel that I’m missing something without which I’m not really getting what the story is really about.
Stories by E. Catherine Tobler, Jennifer Dornan-Fish, Tom Greene, Malcolm Devlin, Tim Major, R.M. Graves, Thana Niveau, with Devlin the pick of the ish for me.
Intriguing multi-perspective story, in a post-flu epidemic ravaged society.
A story from an author new to me, and at three pages in length, not too much by way of an introduction!
A story that does indeed ‘hit the spot’ nicely, with the accustomed oriental mannerisms, familial devotions and structures that clearly mark it out as a Xuya story.
The first story of 2015 that I’m flagging as a contender for the Best SF Short Story Award 2015.
Finding the right words to open up a woman’s heart has never been easy for men, but doh! when you have to remember a freaking password!!
A thoroughly unpleasant protagonist, without any redeeming features who has the wherewithal to fix the world’s problems (as he sees them) . Will he, or won’t he??
In a remote Antartic research station, the Fermi Paradox is solved, which has a big impact on the two men in the cabin..
Robert Reed and Tim Sullivan bookend the issue with some strong SF.
A story which appears to end with several pages to go, athen the reader gradually realises that in fact the real story has even further to go…
Satirical look at communism, where one of the protagonists takes a piss, as Watson takes the piss throughout.
Further adventures of Raffalon the thief.
A woman enters a shop and finds it even more intriguing than she had thought – full of old, and strange things, many of which shouldn’t be there….
An interesting piece from Tobler, no standard narrative and structure.
Only a page and a half, a list of 6 ‘Must Do’s’ for a new summer home, but the paragraphs contain a lot, and what could easily have been covered in a novella is covered more succinctly, much more succinctly, but with equal impact.
A team in an undersea scientific station on a distant planet are studying an aquatic species find things suddenly get very very difficult.
A neat story, especially if you were a late teen/college student in the 1980s, with a strong Bill and Ted/Back to the Future vibe.
A story of vampires and vampire hunters in Amsterdam which feels a little marginal for an SF anthology, albeit it has a more sfnal rationale, as opposed to Carpathian Counts and folklore.
A small alien artefact/metaphor provides an increasingly large backdrop to a young scientist’s relationship and outlook on life.
Hedrick takes a look at loss, on both an individual and meta level, at children who leave you, and at parents who leave you, avoiding maudlin sentimentality.
Editor Adams gets the reader into the right mindset for a forthcoming ‘Queers Destroy SF!’ kickstarter.
A very black, cynical look at humanity
Dark story with some great touches (“The culvert beckoned like a dark eye, cloacal and alluring”)
If you’re looking for a straightforward narrative, with the protagonist having to overcome a life-threatening obstacle, look elsewhere, but look here if you want something just a little bit different that reads well.
An interesting conceit, but a story that lacks just that little something.
It’s one of his ‘Great Ship’ stories, which at their best are Space Opera on a BFO (Big Fuck Off) scale.
A second ultra short (fractionally over two-pages) story in the issue.
Niveau, une auteur nouvelle to moi, looks at human/dolphin interaction, through the eyes of both a scientist, and a dolphin.
An appetizer, leaving the reader wanting more about this distopyian setting.
A lighter touch from O’Connell than his recent stories, as a young man seeks professional help for his life issues.
Buckram posits the helpfulness of a certain bi-monthly fantasy and science fiction magazine in protecting yourself in a post-apocalyptic world…
Editor Gordon van Gelder doesn’t appear (as much as you can ever guess from text) to have tongue in cheek when he says that readers might recall the previous stories featuring the bard Alaric, and refers to issues in 1971 and 1998!
Neat five-pager from Bennardo. – quite impactful considering the short length.
A clever story, whose protagonist is a powerful AI, confident that it is the only one on Earth, and supremely confident in its ability to cleanse the universe of magic, as it gradually disposes of more and more of the magicians whose abilities are an affront to it’s worldview.
Another set of excellent stories, continuing the exploration of the challenges that individuals, couples, communities and humanity as a whole have to face when things go from bad to worse
A clever use of the epistolary form to explore human relationships.
Life in an apocalypse-surviving bunker does not go according to plan once the doors close behind the survivors.