REVIEW: “Mnemotechnic” by Fiona Moore

Review of Fiona Moore, “Mnemotechnic,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 56-75 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I love a story where the main character is described as having used to be a computer, and I genuinely cannot tell for the first page whether the word is meant in hardware or the human sense! The initial scenes leave it genuinely open to going either way. Of course, in a story as long as this one, the matter does get settled, but by the time it is, I’m already hooked enough that I don’t care which way it goes.

I was reminded of another story recently reviewed,

REVIEW: “All Legacy Hardware” by Owen McManus

Review of Owen McManus, “All Legacy Hardware,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 7-21 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Kara Liu is just weeks away from the Olympic 10k qualifying meet when a terrible accident severs her spinal cord. The story opens on her three weeks post injury, still in the throes of recovery, reconstruction, and rebuilding of her future. The quality and precision of the scientific detail in this story is such that it made me — not a doctor! — wonder how much of it was fiction and how much already reality. I loved it. (I also really, really loved Dr. Dawson, who doesn’t know how to talk to people, who finds her research vividly exciting, and who appreciates the importance of getting a PhD thesis or two out of a new project.) This is McManus’s first published story, and all credit to him: I hope he writes lots more like this.

REVIEW: “Battles Yet to Win” by Devi Lacroix

Review of Devi Lacroix, “Battles Yet to Win,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 85-95 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

The story opens with a feel I traditionally associated with fantasy, and when it segued into science fiction it did so in a way that didn’t clash with the atmosphere that had already been created. The juxtaposition was well-done and I enjoyed it. And this was merely setting the stage for a rich story of complex relationships between ambiguous characters, all of which made for an extremely satisfying read. (There is also a subtle, but excellent, slight rewriting of history, which I loved.)

REVIEW: “To the Singers of Madrigals” by Don Mark Baldridge

Review of Don Mark Baldridge, “To the Singers of Madrigals,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 25-36 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I found this story a bit humdrum, a generic SF spaceship setting on a generic, everlasting journey, all narrated in my least favorite POV (2nd). Without anything distinctive — the only character an unnamed ‘she’ — it was hard for me to become invested.

REVIEW: “Too Little, Too Little, Too Much” by John Wiswell

Review of John Wiswell, “Too Little, Too Little, Too Much,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 37-44 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Towards the end of the review.

This story made me wary from its opening lines, concerned that I was going to get something uncomfortable or horrific or depressing about children and the families that fail them.

Bad news: I was right to have been worried. Avoid this story if you don’t want to read about abuse (sexual, mental, physical, of children, of animals…).

I almost couldn’t finish it. I think I’m glad I did, that it was worth sticking it out to the end.

REVIEW: “A Fall Backward Through the Hourglass” by P.A. Cornell

Review of P.A. Cornell, “A Fall Backward Through the Hourglass,” Cossmass Infinities 8 (2022): 22-23 — Purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

They always say that pregnancy changes you — but usually it’s not in the way that it changed the narrator of this story! The premise of the story wavers on the edge between fun/light-hearted and deeply, deeply sad. I thought it balanced on that line beautifully, and it was short and effective.