REVIEW: “The Graveyard Library” by Anastasiya Sukhenko

Review of Anastasiya Sukhenko, “The Graveyard Library”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

My very favorite short stories are ones that have a good title (check) and a first paragraph that open up all the possibilities for how that title can be understood (check). Three sentences into Sukhenko, and I could not wait to read more.

Writers understand the importance of telling stories, and the ways in which the stories we tell, and hear, are intimately linked with who and what we are. Sukhenko takes this fact literally in “The Graveyard Library” and the result is the creation of something we as writers can only dream of.

REVIEW: “Little, Little, Little” by K. A. Tutin

Review of K. A. Tutin, “Little, Little, Little”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is a slightly gruesome story of transformation (if body-mod things squick you out, you might want to avoid this), and I almost really enjoyed it — it was suffused with love and freedom and acceptance. But it was told in 2nd person, and in this context, that POV just didn’t work for me.

REVIEW: “The Adopt a Zombie Program” by Sophia Thimmes

Review of Sophia Thimmes, “The Adopt a Zombie Program”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Zombie stories aren’t really my cup of tea, even if the zombies involved “really were sort of cute”. 🙂 But Thimmes managed to find a distinctive premise, which got me immediately interested in the first few paragraphs. (Got bogged down a bit with the info dump a few paragraphs later, but that was a minor blip.) I give this story a thumbs up, and it’s even my own thumb.

REVIEW: “Blood Feathers”

Review of Anonymous, “Blood Feathers”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This is a story of a woman who is lost inside herself, lost inside the trapping of being a woman, being a mother, being “a support, a failsafe, for her family.” She doesn’t have time for friends, for hobbies, for anything more than a linear life of one thing after another. But there’s more to Ren’s life than that, and we the readers are given intermittent glimpses, as the unfamiliar breaks through the routine, as the fantastical interferes with the normal, as Ren herself tries to reconstruct the memories she once lost. It’s an eerie, unsettling story, smashingly done.

REVIEW: “Heaven-Bound” by Hayli McClain

Review of Hayli McClain, “Heaven-Bound”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

College student Ann — disowned by her family, with no friends or connections, no one to miss her — goes off into the woods one night, intending to disappearing. Instead, she meets Percy, who is trying to pull down the moon, and all in the name of true love.

This was an absolutely adorable and delightful love story and I really enjoyed it!

REVIEW: “Mars Ascending” by Hannah Whiteoak

Review of Hannah Whiteoak, “Mars Ascending”, Luna Station Quarterly 45 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: death of parent, stillbirth.

Living amongst the effects of climate change is something so close to our present lives that it seems more like ordinary fiction rather than science fiction; living at a time when people can escape the rising seas by jetting off to Mars, however, feels still like a distant dream. And yet, stories like Whiteoak’s make it clear how quickly these two lives are converging. I found “Mars Ascending” poignant and touching and it felt very, very real. (And Whiteoak nailed the ending.) Well done!