Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Gold, anOther Mythology (2023)

Maxwell I. Gold, anOther Mythology. Interstellar Flight Press, 2023. ISBN 978-1-9537-3624-6. $14.99.

Reviewed by Lisa Timpf

anOther Mythology is a collection of horror prose-poetry re-imagining myths from a queer perspective, penned by Maxwell I. Gold, a five-time Rhysling Award nominee, and twice Pushcart nominated Jewish American author of prose poetry and short stories in cosmic horror and weird fiction. Gold’s books include Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose from Crystal Lake Publishing and Bleeding Rainbows and Other Broken Spectrums from Hex Publishers. With this background, it’s not surprising that he is able to craft a compelling collection that is often humorous, sometimes darkly so. Publisher Interstellar Flight Press is an indie speculative publishing house that aspires to spotlight “innovative works from the best up and coming writers” in science fiction and fantasy, so this different approach to mythology is right up their alley.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Dark #105 (February 2024)

The Dark, ed. Sean Wallace & Veronica Giguere. Issue 105 (February 2024). Prime Books. $1.99 or online at thedarkmagazine.com.

Reviewed by M.L. Clark

Whispers in the dark are an excellent site for horror, and offer an important medium in the four stories of The Dark’s February issue.

In “Some There Be That Shadows Kiss,” the “whispers” are more figurative: set in the late 16th century, gossip and aspersions cast on anyone who might explain the suffering a town faces. In this case, witches are real, but also not nearly the worst kind of monstrosity that a human being can face. Communal betrayal, spousal harm, parental abandonment… We do such awful things to one another, then have the audacity to spin the cause as evil spirits, no? James Bennett’s tale is a bit more challenging to read than the others this month: not just because of the older language it leans on, but also the allusive nature of much of it. If one embraces the flow, though, the result is a read that, for all its history, has surprises in store.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Clarkesworld #209 (February 2024)

Clarkesworld, ed. Neil Clarke & Sean Wallace. Issue 209 (February 2024). Online at clarkesworldmagazine.com.

Reviewed by Storm Blakley

Science fiction has long been a vehicle for exploring sentience; the dizzying variety of it, exploring the most fundamental emotions and needs, placing every aspect of humanity and sentience under a microscope to see what we can learn. Clarkesworld’s February 2024 issue tackles religion and belief, addiction and alien/artificial intelligence, climate change and conflict, immortality and isolation, and everything in between.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The Dark #104 (January 2024)

The Dark, ed. Sean Wallace & Veronica Giguere. Issue 104 (January 2024). Prime Books. $1.99 or online at thedarkmagazine.com.

Reviewed by M.L. Clark

The first 2024 issue of The Dark brought us assemblages: entities created out of smaller pieces—sometimes to sinister effect, sometimes to appease a greater menace, and sometimes with good intentions that soured. In all cases, the emerging assemblage speaks to a common struggle or ache in our lives, and that’s where the horror strikes deepest: in the knowledge that these patchwork creations aren’t so far removed from our reality after all.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Yoo, Small Gods of Calamity (2024)

Sam Kyung Yoo, Small Gods of Calamity. Interstellar Flight Press, 2024. Pp. 151. ISBN 978-1-953736-28-4. $9.99.

Reviewed by Julie Reeser

Small Gods of Calamity is a debut novella by Sam Kyung Yoo, who has had a short but illustrious career publishing stories in magazines such as Fantasy and Strange Horizons, with work showcasing themes of East Asian folklore and ghosts. This foundation has served them well for this strikingly emotional urban fantasy, set in Seoul, a landlocked city. Kim Han-gil is investigating an apparent suicide when he smells the sea. This is his first clue that his past has once again caught up with him, and that the death at his feet is something much more sinister. Because that smell isn’t actually the sea, it’s a spirit.