I am so excited to announce that my proposal for a workshop on writing speculative fiction and poetry, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, was recently approved, and the class is now listed and available for registration! This new 6-week workshop is titled "Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds" and it uses The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. It begins Saturday, July 27, 2019.
How does the writer of genre fiction approach difficult subject matter like sexual assault? Two excellent and potentially triggering recent short stories by two fearless writers suggest two effective approaches. January 2019 issue of Five on the Fifth "What's Done Can't Be Undone" by Tucson writer Reneé Bibby in the January 2019 issue of Five … Continue reading Recommended: “What’s Done Can’t Be Undone” by Reneé Bibby and “CARBORUNDORUM > /DEV/NULL” by Annalee Flower Horne
Neil Gaiman's "The Mushroom Hunters" was my personal favorite in the collection, along with Mary Soon Lee's "Advice to a Six-Year-Old" and all her other poems, Linda D. Addison's "Sycorax's Daughters Unveiled", Cislyn Smith's "Hot", and Shannon Connor Winward's "The Raven's Hallowe'en."
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster My rating: 3 of 5 stars The characters in The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster are so engaging, their world so compelling, and the book cover art so gorgeous that I feel bad giving this novella only three stars, but the truth is I personally wanted more details and … Continue reading Review: The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #206 by Scott H. Andrews My rating: 4 of 5 stars The stories in issue #206 are about long, painful journeys, but one leads home and the other does not. "The Patchwork Procedure" by Claude Lalumière is a science fiction element in an alternate history story that also features airships, steam-powered … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #206
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #205 by Raphael Ordoñez My rating: 2 of 5 stars I have enjoyed several recent issues of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, but this was a rare issue with stories that didn't quite work for me. The stories in issue #205 are about women coming to better understand and make use of their … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #205
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #204 by Scott H. Andrews My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a difficult issue to rate because these two stories were to different degrees a little opaque and difficult for me to read and understand. They both rewarded my effort, however, and gave me much to think about, in … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #204
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #203 by Scott H. Andrews My rating: 4 of 5 stars Both stories in issue #203 of BCS deal with transformation, gender, and the strict roles of women and men in two very different societies and two very different settings. Both writers paint their worlds so vividly, and there are additional … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #203
The Year's Best Fantasy First Annual Collection by Ellen Datlow My rating: 5 of 5 stars It took me over a year to read this 1988 collection of short stories selected by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, but it wasn't because of any problems I had with the anthology. I'm rating this 5 stars for … Continue reading Book Review: The Year’s Best Fantasy First Annual Collection
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #202 by Scott H. Andrews My rating: 4 of 5 stars Although I found these two stories somewhat opaque (especially the second one), they feature strong writing, memorable characters, and vivid world building. I was left after reading both wanting to know much more about their worlds. In "Mortal Eyes" by … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #202
Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 117 by Neil Clarke My rating: 4 of 5 stars Brief descriptions I read about "And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices" by Margaret Ronald and "Things With Beards" by Sam J. Miller convinced me to subscribe right then to a year of Clarkesworld Magazine, and I'm so glad … Continue reading Review: Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 117
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #201 by Gwendolyn Clare My rating: 5 of 5 stars Another great issue. In "Nothing But the Sky" by Gwendolyn Clare, a vivid world of floating cities and airships and friendly dragon-like pterathers waits to be explored, and I would love to see even more stories set here. The adventure and … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #201
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #200 by Scott H. Andrews My rating: 5 of 5 stars The four vividly imagined worlds in these four fantasy stories are populated by characters on journeys through time and space, their loyalty to existing systems sorely tested, similar in their resolve to see their way through, but different in the … Continue reading Review: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 200
Phobos Magazine 3: Troublemake: weird | fiction by Luke St. Germaine My rating: 4 of 5 stars The poems and flash fiction in this issue tend to feature ornery characters, leading to lots of humor and dark twists. Something else besides the flower is in the gifted pot in "The Lovely Amaryllis," leading to some … Continue reading Review: Phobos Magazine Issue Three: Troublemake
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All the praise. Let's start with the characters: I loved the protagonists and companions and many others along the way as they struggled in a fallen world full of dangerous mountain-moving magic. Caring about these characters made the awfulness even more awful, but … Continue reading Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
I remember fondly buying a few editions of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling in the 1990s. I was in my twenties and while many of the stories and their level of craft were opaque to me at the time, I felt I had stumbled onto a magical tradition.