Uncanny Magazine Issue 25: November/December 2018

By Lynne M. Thomas

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I was led here after reading an absolutely wonderful poem by Hal Y. Zhang in an issue of Strange Horizons. I’m not sure if Strange Horizons magazines are allowed on Goodreads & I don’t want to find out by having my review deleted, so I will review here.*

From Strange Horizons 22/02/21 Issue
Go Agile I thought this poem was mad, fragmented and absolutely wonderful. Read it on Goodreads 5★

I was so intrigued I wanted to read more. Cardioid for me was not the equal of Go Agile, but it was still an evocative, intriguing poem. 4★.

Now that I am here, I will be reading more.

& here I am, reading more!

The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society
I enjoyed this short story, I thought it was funny and quirky. Wasn’t really what I was expecting from a fantasy short story, but I am a bit of a novice in this genre. 3.5★

The Thing About Ghost Stories I think Naomi Kritzer is a good fit for me! How can I not love an author who manages to work books by two of my favourite authors ([author:Jane Austen|1265] & [author:Georgette Heyer|18067]) into her short story. & this short story captures so well the off-the-wall, almost callous way a caregiver starts to feel about the most beloved of Alzheimer’s/Dementia cases – and the way your feelings suddenly turn back to love. I have never read a ghost story like this one! An easy 5★

How to Swallow the Moon by Isabel Yap. This story is a combination of so many wonderful, magical ingredients – a love story, fairy tale, fantasy and the supernatural with a good dose of Phillipines culture. I was completely enchanted and some of the twists and turns took my by surprise. Unusually in a short story I really cared about the two heroines.

I also read Caroline M. Yoachim’s interview with Ms Yap – she is quite the overachiever – Harvard, no less. I enjoyed the insight Ms Yap gave to this work. Rated together 5★

Monologue by an Unnamed Mage by Cassandra Khaw. I have heard good things about this short story writer and she did not disappoint. A science fiction love fragment. Beautifully written. 5★

Osiris by Leah Bobet I was about to wrap this review up, as I have so many books/magazines on the go at the moment, but then I spotted that this poem was an award nominee…

… which did restore my faith that entering awards on Goodreads data base is worthwhile. Like all excellent poems this one is open to interpretation, & mine was that this was a war survival poem. I loved it. 5★

& I was going to leave but the title of the Valentinelli entry has me intrigued. Just one more…

…but first I have another stray. Martha Wells & her Murderbot series has long been recommended to me & this wonderful little story The Future of Work: Compulsory appeared on Wired. You can read it here https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-work-compulsory-martha-wells/ NB: there has just been a change in policy on how Goodreads handle short stories and poetry published in a non book form (NABs) I’m excited about it but not ready to remove my entry from here just yet. This is a big change for Goodreads & not all librarians are members of the Librarians’ Group.

I loved this story that did remind me (a lot) of Naomi Kritzer’s Cat Pictures Please Quirky & funny is a science fiction sub genre I can definitely get behind. 5★

My Name Is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful by Monica Valentinelli At first this story had me giggling, but there is a more serious message behind it. Very well done. 5★

Not so the interview Caroline M. Yoachim did with the author. Talk about being programmed! I felt I was being told how I should interpret the story 2★

Translatio by Sharon Hsu Not science fiction but a poem about culture being lost. Elegant & achingly sad. 5★

An Account of the Land of Witches by Sofia Samatar. This is billed as “reprint fiction.” I did a spot of research & it looks like Samatar started being published around 2012. This story was wonderfully evocative, giving two versions of a truth. it shows a lot of the author’s Sudanese heritage & her multiculturism. Although some parts were evocative, it didn’t totally hold my attention. 3.5★

There is still some non fiction I haven’t read but I will finish my read of this magazine with smile by Beth Cato. To be honest, a poetry title in lower case always makes my heart sink a bit. Poetry fragment. I’m not big on fragments. 2.5★

I cannot leave this magazine without without saying how much I love the cover by John Picacio. It is unusual to see a portrait of a female character from this angle – which denotes power. I love it!

  • * Of course this is my blog, not Goodreads. so I could review Zhang’s poem separately. But I’m so far behind with my blog, that I am not going to edit this review.

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