As summer temperatures in Tucson finally drop below 100°F and we head into autumn, I’m preparing lesson plans and writing new exercises for two fall workshops at the Writers Studio.
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.
Assimilate isn’t the cheap and nauseating found-footage film the trailer led me to believe it would be, but instead an effective low-budget thriller that relies too much on jump scares but tempers these with earned emotions and suspense.
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. “What’s Done Can’t Be Undone” by Tucson writer Reneé Bibby in the January 2019 issue of Five on the Fifth weaves ugly revelations with witches […]
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.”
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s this moment after watching one of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers movies (there are four and I’ll have more to say about them later on in this review) when I think to myself “I really should read the original […]
Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 2016, by Sheila Williams My rating: 4 of 5 stars The August 2016 (I’m a little behind) issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction is a really good collection of stories, poems, and essays. The essays include “Discovering Women of Wonder” by editor Sheila Williams, “The Software of Magic” by Robert Silverberg, “Thinking […]
The Price Of Oranges [Short Story Hardback #33] by Nancy Kress My rating: 5 of 5 stars One of my absolute favorite short stories. I’ve read “The Price of Oranges” many times, but I always seem to forget how it ends, making each new read a magical, emotional experience all over again. Nancy Kress always […]
“Dancing On Air” book cover Dancing on Air by Nancy Kress My rating: 5 of 5 stars Bio-enhanced ballerinas and dogs. Mothers and daughters. The price of passion. This powerful short story is a must-read. In “Dancing on Air”, Nancy Kress explores the consequences of bio-enhancement but does not provide easy answers as the reader […]
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang My rating: 5 of 5 stars Ted Chiang’s collection of his stories published between 1990 and 2002 is now one of my favorite books ever, full of some of my favorite stories ever. There is not one story in this collection I did not enjoy, and […]
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2016 by Trevor Quachri My rating: 5 of 5 stars First time subscriber, first issue of Analog I’ve read, and I loved everything in it! Fiction “Progress Report” by Ragnar Vajra follows the protagonist on an alien planet from their first conscience thoughts to increasing awareness and intelligence, as […]
Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey My rating: 4 of 5 stars What I like most about The Expanse series of books by James S.A. Corey so far are the characters. They are interesting, relatively complex, often very funny, and come from many different backgrounds (including fictional backgrounds like “Belters” – the population of humans […]
Lightspeed Magazine, July 2010 by John Joseph Adams My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really enjoyed the second issue of Lightspeed Magazine. Time travel but uniquely appears in two stories in this issue, “No Time Like the Present” by Carol Emshwiller and “…For a Single Yesterday” by George R. R. Martin, a reprint from […]
Lightspeed Magazine, June 2010 by John Joseph Adams My rating: 5 of 5 stars I recently subscribed to several genre magazines, including Lightspeed Magazine. I helped support the magazine’s latest two Destroy issues via Kickstarter, but I had not yet dived into any issues. Now that I own them all and am subscribed for another […]
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 […]
Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft by Elizabeth Bear My rating: 4 of 5 stars Many of my favorite writers contributed stories to this anthology after they visited with Microsoft about cutting edge technology and speculation about the future. Some stories deal with translation and conversation, suggested by advancements in Skype, including “Hello, […]
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 […]
Phobos Magazine Issue Two: Emergence: weird | fiction by Amanda C. Davis My rating: 5 of 5 stars Several absolutely fantastic and often chilling flash horror, fairy tale, and science fiction stories. Some highlights: “The Hitchhikers” remind you to always look behind you. Or don’t. “Moonspots” waits for daddy to come home. “Questions For the […]
Phobos Magazine Issue One: Zugzwang by A.E. Decker My rating: 4 of 5 stars Deliciously weird short short stories and shorter, along with a couple poems. Promising first issue. On to issue two! View all my reviews
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 […]