REVIEW: “The Ruin” by Sara Norja

Review of Sara Norja, “The Ruin,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Andanu and his teacher Taril are walking from their west-short town to the east-shore village where a great festival awaits them; but on their way through the forest, they discover a ruin that had never been there before — and a history that neither of them dreamt could have been true.

I was all set to really enjoy the story when it ended, suddenly and abruptly, with all the beautiful build-up for nothing. Alas, I’m left a bit dissatisfied.

REVIEW: “A Guide for Lost Sailors” by Allison Har-Zvi

Review of Allison Har-Zvi, “A Guide for Lost Sailors,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I’ve discovered that I love stories told by the figureheads of ships — this is not the first such one in LSQ that I’ve reviewed! So once I realised that that’s what the narrator of this story was, I settled in for a good time.

And I mostly got it; I say mostly because there is a small part of me that feels sad and let down when in stories even wooden women are subjected to misogyny. The “it’s only in fun” excuse doesn’t — pardon the pun — hold any water.

REVIEW: “Indulgence” by Tammy Salyer

Review of Tammy Salyer, “Indulgence,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is a post-apocalypse story, in which the end of the world was heralded by the introduction of biotags, embedded under the skin of every person, containing their identity and all their health information. These biotags are scanned during food purchases, so that permission can be granted for the individual in question to purchase that particular food. It’s a great story premise: Enormously creepy because it is so damn believable that this could happen at some point in the future, and the way things unfold is all so plausible. And despite the premise the story is based on, one of the other great things about it is its enormous dose of body positivity.

REVIEW: “Minotaur” by R.S. Bohn

Review of R.S. Bohn, “Minotaur,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This was a lovely mixture of modern archaeology and ancient myth, with an added layer of depth that comes from the fact Noani, the lead archaeologist on the dig, is facing the realisation that she is likely dying, of the same cancer that took her mother and her aunt. There was a deep aching sadness that grew and grew throughout the story; it was extremely finely crafted.

REVIEW: “Daughter of the Sun” by A.E. Ash

Review of A.E. Ash, “Daughter of the Sun,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Dr. Lian Leandros is the only one left alive on the crippled space ship Aldebaran. Once she has sent out a distress signal, there is nothing left for her to do but wait.

It’s a premise that sets a story up for nothing happening: And yet, even though very little does happen in it, the way Ash brings the reader into Leandros’s world, helps us to understand her mind, is compelling and enjoyable, and in the end extremely beautiful.

REVIEW: “Sweet” by Sam Butler

Review of Sam Butler, “Sweet,” Luna Station Quarterly 21 (2015): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

If ever there were a “good” mood-altering drug, it would be Sweet: Non-addictive, no harmful side effects, no psychosis, no hallucinations, just: a feeling of happiness, of content, a sweet feeling. But of course, no such substance is ever going to be as good as it seems, and Sweet is no exception, as Charlie is about to find out after her childhood friend Charity takes the pill.

The strongest thread in this story is that of friendship, but it’s also a story that is reflective of a deeply unhappy society.