Sunday, January 27, 2013

Older, Salsa Nocturna (2012)

Daniel José Older, Salsa Nocturna. Crossed Genres Publications, 2012. Pp. 135. ISBN 978-0615624457. $11.95 print)/$4.99 e-book.

Reviewed by Djibril al-Ayad

This collection of loosely interconnected fantastic noir short stories by New York-based musician, paramedic and fantasy author Daniel Older is published by Crossed Genres, a fast-growing small press justly famous for producing high quality, genre-bending, innovative and inclusive magazine issues, anthologies, and the occasional novel. The stories in Salsa Nocturna, while a few of them were previously published individually, make up a whole that is a lot stronger than its parts, but are not in any strong sense a seamless novel. There are stand-alone stories in here; there are loose ends aplenty; there are parts that do not contribute to the whole. But the world Older has masterfully crafted, a good-humored New York filled with ghosts and even-more-creepy bureaucrats and seen through the eyes of mostly Hispanic protagonists, runs coherently through all the stories like a soft musical soundtrack, improvised and soulful, but solid, recognizable, and comforting.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2 Hours (2012)

2 Hours, dir. Michael Ballif., 2012. Starring Josh Merrill, Brooke Hemsath. 26 minutes.

Reviewed by Brian Eisley

2 Hours is an unusual and exciting little horror film, only 26 minutes long, that brings a fresh perspective to the well-traveled territory of the zombie movie. This film, made on an infinitesimal budget by Utah filmmakers Michael Ballif and Josh Merrill, tells the story of a victim, already infected, who goes searching for other survivors who may have a cure—while fighting his slow transformation into one of the living dead.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Indian SF #1 (2013)

Indian SF, issue #1 (Jan-Feb 2013). Online:

Reviewed by Brian Eisley

With Indian SF, a new online magazine, we have a promising new conduit for the spread of science fiction and fantasy from India. The first issue, available for free download, contains a small but pleasing selection of Western and Indian stories, as well as an interview with a prominent Indian comic-book team and a pair of reviews of Indian genre novels. Its creator, Geetanjali Dighe, is a digital marketer and science fiction fan based in Mumbai, who hopes to showcase the Indian writers she loves and expose them to the wider world. Despite a few rough edges in the editing, and half of the stories not being Indian in origin, this is a very promising start to a new publication.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Caraway, To Evil Comes a Daughter (2012)

Allen Caraway, To Evil Comes a Daughter. Amazon, 2012. Pp. 386. ASIN B009TBGOYW. $4.99.

Reviewed by Kate Onyett

To evil might come a daughter; to the ranks of ebookery comes this offering from a writer who has under his section on Amazon the title of “World Renowned Tap-Dancing Hamster Instructor and three-time winner of the Most Amusing Pet Chipmunk award.” One might expect chirpy brightness, nay even a little of the old tomfoolery. But no, this is a tight thriller, a paranormal murder-mystery that stands foursquare to its brief and delivers with confidence.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Theodoratus. Troublesome Neighbors (2012)

M. K. Theodoratus, Troublesome Neighbors. Bookbaby, 2012. Pp. 55. ISBN 978-1-6248809-3-3. $0.99.

Reviewed by RJ Blain

Troublesome Neighbors by M.K. Theodoratus, part of the epic fantasy Far Isle Half-Elven series, is a self-published novella that manages to skirt the fringe of a YA style, giving the book a unique if simplistic feel. It tells the story of a veteran heroine now living as a modest and diffident pig-farmer, but unable to entirely leave her military days behind her. Although a pacy and engaging story, it reads more like an unfinished novel, and it begs the question of why this novella wasn’t allowed to flourish as a full-length book.