Monday, October 16, 2017

Chng, Water Into Wine (2017)

Joyce Chng, Water Into Wine. Annorlunda Books, 2017. Pp 138. ISBN 978-1-944354-30-5. $8.99.

Reviewed by Cait Coker


I wonder how the wine will taste. Will people taste the fear—the terror and anxiety—when they drink? A tart wine with hints of berry and blood? A spicy wine with cinnamon and gunpowder, great for a summer evening? (46)
Space opera is usually defined by its great battles for great causes, and the adventures of a small group of characters who become a family. Joyce Chng’s Water Into Wine is space opera writ dirtside, where the great battles are all overhead, daily, nightly, and the small group of characters are an actual family trying to survive.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Devlin, You Will Grow Into Them (2017)

Malcolm Devlin, You Will Grow Into Them. Unsung Stories, 2017. Pp. 244. ISBN 978-1-9073-43-6. £9.99.

Reviewed by Valeria Vitale

You Will Grow Into Them is a collection of stories by Malcolm Devlin, published together for the first time by Unsung Stories. All labeled as “weird,” the tales gathered in this book offer an interesting range of themes as well as styles, from the gruesome demon-hunting scenes to the subtle, diffuse inquietude that crawls under the skin. As the title suggests, the common thread of these stories is change, and the unsettling feeling that follows all transformations, the small like the big ones. The changes that are narrated in these pages are sometimes metaphorical, like the process of coming of age, but more often involve proper and complete reshaping of bodies and environments. The “weirdness” that populates Devlin’s stories is the kind that I enjoy the most: not necessarily the gory and horrific but more the sinister, the ambiguous, the eerie, the unexplained and the inexplicable.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Notice: Ratcliffe, Murthen Island (2015)

Marianne Ratcliffe, Murthen Island. Self-published, 2015. Pp. 32. ISBN 978-0-99340-010-0. £2.99.

Notice by Psyche Z. Ready

Murthen Island is the second in a series of female-led fantasy novels, the third forthcoming in September 2017. The protagonist is refreshingly notable in two ways: not only is she a smart and courageous young woman, she also lives in a magical world but does not possess magical powers; she’s a relatable hero for young women readers. Another striking quality of Golmeira, the world of the novel, is the unapologetic existence of healthy queer relationships. Murthen Island features depictions of slavery that may be troubling to some readers.

[This is a brief notice of publication, not a full review.]