Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 70

 

Read November 2019
Recommended for fantasy/sci-fi fans
★   ★    ★   

Here’s what happened: “Welcome to the Medical Clinic…” is awesome enough that I thought I should stop reading it for free and decided to buy it’s home issue. The sci-fi stories were good to great (bonus Bodard story!) and the ‘fantasy’ stories were pretty close to lame. I’d say most of the ‘fantasy’ felt more like ‘horror’ genre over fantasy. All four/five seemed very focused on some version of male sexuality (coming of age, being fascinated by a woman). Started with a bang, ended with a fizzle. I can see why they would need to do special issues on Women in Fantasy.

Science Fiction

Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station /Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0 by Caroline M. Yoachim
–competely hysterical send off of choose-your-own-adventure books, wry/cynical medical version. 5 stars

The Mars Convention by Timons Esaias
-Interesting. Convention of alien anthropologists, scientists and enthusiasts meeting to discuss the Earth cannon. Explores the meta significance of objects and culture in an obvious convention analogy. Somewhat profound. 4 stars.

RedKing by Craig DeLancey
-Cyberhack/cyberpunk sci-fi where a computer hacker who works with the police helps them with a hacker releasing the RedKing virus, responsible for a number of suicides and homicides. A touch incomprehensible at times with computer babble, nonetheless good. 4 stars.

The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard
-a parallel story about a women who grew up in an orphanage “saved from the squalor and danger among the savages and brought forward into the light of civilisation” and a Vietnamese woman and her cousin who set off on a mission to rescue her great-aunt–and ship-mind–from the Outsiders’ derelict graveyard. 5 stars.

Fantasy

The Premature Burials by Andy Duncan
-eh. Horror more than fantasy, with a definite feeling of Sexy Poe. (Yep, that’s a “Ew.”). Competent, but not to my taste. 2 stars.

Sparks Fly by Rich Larson
-A guy who has an ostracized condition, ‘sparks’ meets a fabulous girl. Not really fantasy as much as magical realism, wish-fulfillment version. Meh. Would have been more interesting if it was about the world, not about the character’s own insecurities getting together with a girl. 2.5 stars

Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire
-As always, McGuire does much more interesting with shorts. 4 stars.

Michael Doesn’t Hate His Mother by Marie Vibbert.
-Horror-fiction. 3 stars.

Novella

Millers Wife by Mark W. Tiedemann

-John Irving does small-town creepy. Weird sex-female stuff, woman-as-fertility and all that crap. Lame and eye-rolling. I can’t believe Adams thought this worth publishing. 1 star.

Novel Excerpts

Shift by Hugh Howey: skipped

Nonfiction

Movie Review: Deadpool; Book Reviews: March 2016; Interview: Chuck Wendig and Alexandra Bracken (Guide to the New Star Wars Canon): skipped.

Author Spotlights

Caroline M. Yoachim, Andy Duncan, Timons Esaias, Rich Larson, Craig Delancey, Seanan McGuire, Aliette de Bodard, Marie Vibbert, Mark W. Tiedemann. Interesting depending on the author and interviewer. Bodard’s was insightful.

Miscellany: Coming Attractions, Stay Connected, Subscriptions and Ebooks, About the Lightspeed Team, Also Edited by John Joseph Adams. Glanced at it.

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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