REVIEW: “One Hundred Years” by Jennifer R. Donohue

Review of Jennifer R. Donohue, “One Hundred Years” in Rhonda Parrish, ed., Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline: Dieselpunk and Decopunk Fairy Tales, (World Weaver Press, 2019): 275-287 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

Lew, Marek, and Iga escaped the burning of their farm and managed to find and join the resistance. Now, a year later, they are on a quest, to convince the gunsmith to make them a magic gun, something that they can use in their fight for freedom.

The weight of the quest has proper fairy tale feel to it, and so too the mysteries that they find when they finally meet the gunsmith. The quiet events of the week in which the gunsmith made the gun for Iga were full of warmth and compassion, which provided a sharp contrast to the unexpected, sudden, and deadly ending.

REVIEW: “For Whatever We Lose” by Jennifer R. Donohue

Review of Jennifer R. Donohue, “For Whatever We Lose”, Luna Station Quarterly 37 (2019): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Ostensibly, this is a story of an astronaut orbiting one of Mars’s moons, who’s gotten into trouble and who knows how her ending will be. But, really, this is a story of reflection and contemplation, family bonds, and dreams, of courage in the face of impossibility, and how little moments — like a little lie, saying that Suzanne was eight when she was in fact only six — can shape and direct a person’s future profoundly.

Overall, I found this story well constructed and written with lovely language but I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, and would have liked to have seen more story, and less flashing back.

REVIEW: Fall Flash Contest+Halloween

Review of H.L. Fullerton, “What You Ate Eats At You”, Syntax and Salt Fall Flash Contest, October 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

As much as I like Syntax and Salt, I’ve learned that I don’t like all of the work they feature. This one, in particular wasn’t to my taste. Maybe because I was expecting something more….Halloween-y? I guess? It was an entry for a Fall Flash Contest, so the mistake is all mine, but still. And it was fixated on food. I found myself skimming it, just to get through the story. I couldn’t get into it. At all. If there was a redeeming point to the story, it was that it ended.

Honestly, if this was the third place winner, I’m scared to think of what didn’t make it.

Review of Wendy Wimmer, “Feðgin”, Syntax and Salt Fall Flash Contest, October 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

This story confused me at first. The character’s father is a villain? There were explosions? Death ray, what? Then I got further into it, and…well, if you’re a Republican in the United States, you might want to skip this story completely. I’m not, so I enjoyed it immensely. I wasn’t quite filled with evil glee, but close.

Okay, back on track: the story is very short and simple. There are some questions left unanswered, which, as I’ve stated before, I hate, but it doesn’t really detract from the story, so I can bear it. And I have learned a new word, so bonus! Maybe just for me, but eh. You can’t win them all.

This story was the second place winner in Syntax and Salt’s fall flash contest.

(FYI: “Feðgin” means “Father and Daughter” apparently. Yay for learning!)

Review of Jennifer R. Donohue, “Aground, Upon the Sand”, Syntax and Salt Fall Flash Contest, October 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

As soon as I saw the author’s name, I knew this was going to be good, and I was right. I’m not entirely sure it deserved first place in Syntax and Salt’s fall flash contest, but it was still a good read. Another short and simple work, this one is best enjoyed with some background knowledge of selkie mythology.

Review of Mariel Tishma, “Wax and Wane”, Syntax and Salt Halloween Special, October 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal

Well. Huh. Um, not sure what to say. Mariel Tishma has a very interesting way with words, and I certainly wish her the best of luck convincing her editor that she’s not just a pile of squirrels, but I’m a little thrown by this piece.

The character is a witch or a sorcerer, it appears, and so is their love(?) interest. If I read/understood the story correctly, the main character is in a love/hate relationship with the other witch. Or maybe the love interest isn’t a witch at all, and is just portrayed as one because of the “spell” she cast on the character? It’s hard to tell, honestly, but it is a well wrote piece and worth a read.