I was given the opportunity to review the second issue of a new science fiction e-zine. The free short story that they have on their website is a great example of the quality of the other short stories contained within the May issue.
There is definitely something for everyone, whether you like the light philosophical science fiction, the emotional coming of age story or the darker science fiction.
There will be spoilers ahead! You can't say I didn't warn you.
Moving Past Legs
The first short story listed in the May issue is the story of a man and his minority girlfriend who is dealing with postmortem depression. The man cheats on the girlfriend and the girlfriend leaves him. The man becomes depressed and starts giving all of his money to a foundation to improve the rights of the ex-girlfriend's minority. This alienates him from his friends and makes him work harder to earn more money. He changes his entire life, the minority gets the rights they deserve and he finds a new girl. They decide to get married and guess who walks back into his life? The ex-girlfriend hoping he will take her back, she didn't realize how much of a responsibly it was to take care of yourself. End of story. Oh, wait did I forget to mention the girlfriend is a hyper-evolved octopus and was really more of his pet? Yea, this short story stuck with me for a couple of days because of it's weird way of making you think about down to earth issues.
The Endless Flicker Light
I have to say this was by far my favorite short story in this magazine issue. It was such a well crafted peek into what felt like a whole new universe. It takes a lot of work to be able to get so much story across in so little words. I don't even want to spoil it for you. Needless to say, it is a more extreme take on how all young adults feel when they finally get out into the world. You can read this short story on their website --> http://www.bastionmag.com/previous/may
This was not my flavor as it included voodoo dolls, so I skipped this one.
From what I read, this was well written, but it had a little more grit than I prefer with my detective stories. If it was any less gritty, I would have been all over it. Greys + noir style detectives? Oh yea.
A Considerate Invasion
Can I have another favorite short story? This one is so calm, and yet is the most powerful short story I had read. Aliens came to Earth and offered to cure them of all negative emotions along with the things that come with them, war, greed, anger, resentment etc. So when the aliens announce they are going to be terraforming Earth, no one cares. NO ONE CARES. They smile and ask if they can make things go faster. Except for those who were unaffected by "cure".
If you are thinking this is going to be a bad-ass rebel story, you are wrong. It is way better than that. A man who is unaffected calls a meeting with one of the aliens. They talk things out and by the end of it, the aliens have used the man to come up with a "cure" for people like him. No fighting, just words. I think it was way more intense than any fighting could be.
A Rather Different Sort of F-Bomb
This one is written in the style of episodes where they show you something bizarre and then say 24 hours before... I think that was really the only thing it had going for it. I think it was written fairly well, but I just didn't agree with the message. I guess it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Zombie Limbo Master
It had zombies in it. Pass. Not my cup of tea. :)
This was another universe in a short story. I didn't get to the end of this one since I went to adult for me, but the idea was cool.
An interesting slice of life story about two runaway girls on a backwater planet. I wished that rather than breaking a custom, the little girl was considered special for dancing. It was well written none the less.
All in all, a great second issue for a science fiction magazine.
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