REVIEW: “This Stitch, This Time” by Anna Martino

Review of Anna Martino, “This Stitch, This Time”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Very imaginative concept. Just like the last story from this issue of Clarkesworld, I find it enjoyable when disparate passions are combined to make a beautiful tale. Space suit seamstress is a science fiction profession I have not encountered before, and I love it!

A quick read, yet suffused with a lot of emotion.

REVIEW: “Dark Waters Still Flow” by Alice Towey

Review of Alice Towey, “Dark Waters Still Flow”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Such a good story! Soft yet logical, I enjoyed every sentence. I don’t mean to sound partial, but this is why I love women science fiction writers. There was such beauty in the descriptions, the poetry, the minute details – this is a story you want to take the time to absorb.

The level of detail in this story surprised me, and then I read that apart from writing, Towey works as a civil engineer specializing in water resources management. That explains why she had such knowledge of the subject at hand. I do love it when writers combine their two favored disciplines in this manner.

Very enjoyable story. Read slowly. Savor it.

REVIEW: “Mom Heart” by Will McIntosh

Review of Will McIntosh, “Mom Heart”, Clarkesworld Issue 182, November (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

A lovely, touching story about a mom, a dad, two sweet kids, and a mom heart that is so important. Family-oriented sci-fi is not a common choice, but I’m glad this author made that choice.

This has gone on my list of favorites, and with good reason. It has all the story elements that a story must ideally have to be good in theory, but it also has such feeling and depth that makes it so much more. This story focuses on will and choice, which manifests in different ways through the story, but the outcome of choices – and the timeliness of those choices – is what makes all the difference.

REVIEW: “A Well-Worn Path” by Anamaria Curtis

Review of Anamaria Curtis, “A Well-Worn Path”, Clarkesworld Issue 181, October (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

An exceedingly well written story. Emotional and poignant, it is the kind of story that will stay with you. I enjoyed the deft handling of the characters and their personalities & motivations.

Norami is such a layered & well developed character, as is Leona. The detail of this world, and the scifi background are both very well done. This review, in fact, is starting to feel like a list of compliments! But I really did enjoy this story. The plot, prose and attention to detail were all perfect. A wonderful read.

REVIEW: “Through” by Eric Fomley and Rich Larson

Review of Eric Fomley and Rich Larson, “Through”, Clarkesworld Issue 181, October (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Fast paced and full of twists, this was a one-sitting read. I don’t always read short stories in one sitting, despite their size and the possibility of doing so. But this one made me ignore everything else because I just had to find out what exactly was going on.

From the very beginning, there is intrigue and a build up of expectation. The authors very cleverly reveal a little at a time, sometimes raising more questions while simultaneously giving us readers tidbits of information. It felt like a much larger story skillfully condensed into short fiction. Extremely engaging read.

REVIEW: “Rain Falling in the Pines” by Lavie Tidhar

Review of Lavie Tidhar, “Rain Falling in the Pines”, Clarkesworld Issue 181, October (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

Really well-defined world-building, with delicious hints of a broader world in the background. I’ve love to read a longer story set in this world. Multiple stories, even.

Geshem is a layered, interesting character, a First Human who lives in a world full of Sapis and genetically modified creatures. It’s a cyberpunk dystopia, and it’s been a while since I’ve read a good cyberpunk story, so this was even more appreciated.

Lovely concept and plot. Multiple characters, and even the minor ones were given strong personalities. I always love when an author pays that kind of attention to detail.

REVIEW: “Sing the End” by Claire McNerney

Review of Claire McNerney, “Sing the End” Cossmass Infinities 9 (2022): 75-79 — Read or purchase online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

The story opens: “The mod­ern pop song struc­ture goes as fol­lows: in­tro, verse, cho­rus, verse, cho­rus, bridge, cho­rus, out,” and that’s the structure that this story then follows. It’s not quite “post-apocalyptic”, since the apocalypse is happening all around the characters. It’s hard not to read about the Death and think of the real world’s experiences with Covid-19, but this isn’t a pandemic story, as there’s plenty of other apocalypses the characters live through too, one after another until the narrator herself meets her end. A bit of a depressing read!

REVIEW: “Crowd Demons” by Lisa Farrell

Review of Lisa Farrell, “Crowd Demons,” Luna Station Quarterly 50 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Take a photographer hired to photograph a rich man’s soiree, a bunch of photos that don’t turn out exactly how she expected, and a newspaper article a few days later and what do you get? A supernatural ghost mystery that feels like it could’ve been straight out of an episode of the X Files (and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible.)

REVIEW: “Love Unflinching, at Low- to Zero-G” by M. L. Clark

Review of M. L. Clark, “Love Unflinching, at Low- to Zero-G”, Clarkesworld Issue 181, October (2021): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.

A veterinarian in space wrangles with ethics, morality and duty, with inter-species collaborative space stations thrown in for good measure.

The Doc is getting on in years, but they are still very committed to ensuring a healthy, balanced existence on the station, amongst all species and their companions. But humans are only human, after all, and Doc takes it upon themselves to try and diffuse the situation before it becomes a potentially disastrous actual situation.

The descriptions were lovely, the characters were well-defined, and the ending was particularly poignant. Long yet engaging.

REVIEW: “Ghosts in My Lungs” by Madeleine Sardina

Review of Madeleine Sardina, “Ghosts in My Lungs,” Luna Station Quarterly 50 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I’m not sure if the titular ghosts were intended to be a metaphor for disease — they certainly can be read that way, but it’s not required — or if they’re just a fun creepy thing to imagine and write a story about, but either way, they definitely made for a fun creepy thing to read a story about, especially entangled in an absolutely glorious love story. A real treat!