REVIEW: “City of Eternity” by Pan Haitian

Review of Pan Haitian, “City of Eternity”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Very beautiful prose. I always enjoy reading translated fiction; the word choices and the way the language flows is just different from stories written originally in English. It’s nice to see different style choices in fiction, especially in short fiction.

A lovely story about time and how we perceive it. Do wars mean anything when you’ve experienced endless time, or the rise and fall of civilization? Does love? When does enlightenment really occur?

These are the questions this story explores, and it is quite a lovely thing to see.

REVIEW: “There is a Cottage by the Woods” by Rebecca Burton

Review of Rebecca Burton, “There is a Cottage by the Woods,” Luna Station Quarterly 51 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story started off with a long enough pre-amble in italics that I actually quit reading and scrolled down because I wondered if the formatting in the story had gone wrong and an <i> tag hadn’t gotten closed. But, nope: There’s just a really long info-dump pre-amble in italics at the very beginning.

What came after that info-dump was a lovely pleasant read, though; it makes me wish an editor had suggested just getting rid of it altogether and starting the story at the point where it really started.

REVIEW: “This Stitch, This Time” by Anna Martino

Review of Anna Martino, “This Stitch, This Time”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Very imaginative concept. Just like the last story from this issue of Clarkesworld, I find it enjoyable when disparate passions are combined to make a beautiful tale. Space suit seamstress is a science fiction profession I have not encountered before, and I love it!

A quick read, yet suffused with a lot of emotion.

REVIEW: “Dark Waters Still Flow” by Alice Towey

Review of Alice Towey, “Dark Waters Still Flow”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Such a good story! Soft yet logical, I enjoyed every sentence. I don’t mean to sound partial, but this is why I love women science fiction writers. There was such beauty in the descriptions, the poetry, the minute details – this is a story you want to take the time to absorb.

The level of detail in this story surprised me, and then I read that apart from writing, Towey works as a civil engineer specializing in water resources management. That explains why she had such knowledge of the subject at hand. I do love it when writers combine their two favored disciplines in this manner.

Very enjoyable story. Read slowly. Savor it.

REVIEW: “The Witch and the Water” by Ashley Libey

Review of Ashley Libey, “The Witch and the Water,” Luna Station Quarterly 51 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Bee once visited the witch in the water and came back with a spell that didn’t work; now she’s come back to beg for a second chance: It’s a quick summary for what is at times a rather stretched-out, sometimes plodding, story. I felt like I would have enjoyed this better if it had been about half the length — and if it weren’t quite so moralizing.

REVIEW: “Fishbone” by CL Glanzing

Review of CL Glanzing, “Fishbone,” Luna Station Quarterly 51 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Death of a parent.

Hannah and her family — two brothers, a mother, (maybe a father but we never hear about him) — lived on a poisoned island, a place no one ever visited and people only left never to come back. She was there to witness the final airplane that left, taking away the last people who would ever escape. Her story is bloody, visceral, and sad, in ways I did not expect, and threaded through and through with a horrible, malicious religion. A chilling but very good read.

REVIEW: “Anwen’s Song, Efa’s Shoes, and the Halls in the Hills” by Rebecca Harrison

Review of Rebecca Harrison, “Anwen’s Song, Efa’s Shoes, and the Halls in the Hills,” Luna Station Quarterly 51 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This rather overburdened title accompanied a rather verbose and somewhat lyrical story, kicking off in a chanting sort of rhythm instructing me to do all sorts of things — the sort of opening that always puts me on edge. But if you don’t mind this style of writing, then here’s a little tale with a whole load of Welsh-fairy-tale influences for you.

REVIEW: “Redbean” by Dixon March

Review of Dixon March, “Redbean,” Luna Station Quarterly 51 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Larron is pregnant and on probation, her movements, her choices, her life restricted. When her story opens, it is entirely ordinary — up until the moment she finds a package of redbeans, tucked away forgotten on a grocery store shelf. Immediately things shift into the realm of the speculative, in a way that made me anxious with anticipation to find out what’s so special about these redbeans, and how they will change her life (because of course they will. That’s how stories work). I thought I’d get a fairy tale ending; instead I got a horror story!