REVIEW: “The Uncurling of Samsara” by Koji A. Dae

Review of Koji A. Dae, “The Uncurling of Samsara”, Clarkesworld Issue 184, January (2022): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

A lovely story about grief and growth, set in a generation ship. A well structured story about dealing with the loss of a loved one, and how everyone processes grief in different ways.

For our protagonist Annessa, it takes the form of her Gram’s cherry pie, and how their attempt to perfect it has been mostly elusive. But losing her Gram teaches her something. About how the essence of something can take many different forms, but always, always towards growth.

A wrenchingly real portrayal.

REVIEW: “A Series of Endings” by Amal Singh

Review of Amal Singh, “A Series of Endings”, Clarkesworld Issue 183, December (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

If you’re immortal for long enough, you realize that nothing really matters, and certainly doesn’t matter more than the present. Or at least Roopchand Rathore does. And he would know, having had many lives – maybe with different endings but always the same hazy sort of beginning.

A story where spaceships and aliens, backwater boat races and Ghalib, all feel right at home.

REVIEW: “The Swimmer” by Ann Wuehler

Review of Ann Wuehler, “The Swimmer,” Luna Station Quarterly 53 (2023): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Domestic abuse, murder.

This is a story about Gracie, now grown old, and her mother, and one special day they shared at the beach when Gracie was young. And yet, the most fascinating part of the story was the narrator, who is neither Gracie nor her mother and whom we never really quite get to know, but who is tremendously weird and entrancing to read.

REVIEW: “Collector of the Dead” by Chelsea Catherine

Review of Chelsea Catherine, “Collector of the Dead,” Luna Station Quarterly 53 (2023): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Minnie is haunted by ghosts only she can see. Most are there one moment, gone the next, but Sheila is different — she comes, she speaks to Minnie, and when she goes, she comes back again another day. Soon, the two have become friends, or perhaps more.

This is both a hopefully, happy story and a sad one, with an ending that is both exactly what it needs to be and exactly the one I didn’t want. Strongly written and enjoyable!

REVIEW: “The Knells of Agassiz” by Holly Schofield

Review of Holly Schofield, “The Knells of Agassiz,” Luna Station Quarterly 53 (2023): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I love it when a story gives me cause to pause and look something up to see if it’s real or not. In this case, it was the Agassiz Ice Cap, and it’s real — but for who knows how long. Climate change and the quickly disappearing ice cap form the basis for Schofield’s story, in which Emma returns to the ice cap one last time to say good-bye. It could so easily be a sad and depressing story, but it is not: It has the tinge of realistic hope that all good climate SF should have.

REVIEW: “The Little Husky” by Rebecca Harrison

Review of Rebecca Harrison, “The Little Husky,” Luna Station Quarterly 53 (2023): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Eliza’s father is on trial. His crime? He has stolen the Artic Circle, to ensure that he, and not his rival Mennor, would be the first man to reach the North Pole.

This was an interesting story, with some very beautifully-used language, but I felt like I had to wait too long to find out what was actually happening.

REVIEW: “How to be Caffeine-Free” by Shannon Roberts

Review of Shannon Roberts, “How to be Caffeine-Free,” Luna Station Quarterly 53 (2023): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story won “best title of the issue” in my book, and thus was an easy first choice to read and review.

For Greyce, being caffeine-free matters. She’s living in Cosmos, where nothing matters more than chasing your dreams; but if she drinks too much coffee, her sleep gets screwed up, and if her sleep gets screwed up then she doesn’t dream any dreams. I found this to be an odd story, oddly written, and — for me — not quite living up to the potential of its name.