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: “The Artist” by Koji A. Dae.

Review of Koji A. Dae, “The Artist”, Luna Station Quarterly 39 (2019): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

All too often, art has no — or not enough — place in science, both in science fiction and science fact. In Dae’s SF story, the titular artist plays a central role: Karla Becker is the one who had the important breakthrough in crystallography, she’s the one that people know that value. But when she cannot replicate her breakthrough of two years ago, her single-minded experiments on the very same crystals end up costing her job. What role, then, can the artist play?

The story started off feeling like it was going to be rather depressing and hopeless, but it did not end that way. I loved the feeling of hope, that art, and life, is worth fighting for, that pervading the ending.