Thursday, March 31, 2016

Magazine Review: Lightspeed Magazine Issue 70

Lightspeed has some impressive fiction in their latest issue, and I'm glad I managed to finish it and get out the review before a whole new edition comes out next month. Stories that I will remember at the end of the year are in this issue, and I was able to discover some of my favorite new authors. The short fiction in this issue is not only imaginative but disturbing and moving.

"Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0" by Caroline M. Yoachim is a hilarious take on sci-fi and choose-your-own adventure tales. It can easily be read straight through and has a ton of funny jokes. This story is fun to read and listen to on podcast, and a very cool space station is neat to experience in second person.

"Red King" by Craig DeLancey is an interesting hacker tale with a view of the future of entertainment that is both exciting and frightening. I thought the pace and plot of this story made it a fun read.

The reprints of science fiction in this issue both made me think. "The Mars Convention" by Timons Esalas not only reflects on the legacy of science fiction long after humans have destroyed the world and become extinct but also the importance of science fiction, and any fiction for that matter, in culture. "The Waiting Stars" by Aliette de Bodard had me confused at first but turned into an awesome story as the two narrations slowly connected in an awesome culmination.

The fantasy stories were some of my favorite in this issue. I've encountered Rich Larson before in a great story "Going Endo" in Apex Magazine Issue 74, so I was excited to read another story by him. "Spark Fly" is hilarious and takes a great new fantastical approach to dating while addressing the ubiquitous nature of technology in our lives. "Micheal Doesn't Hate His Mother" by Marie Vibbert freaked me out. The depiction of a strange robot mother was horrifying and the ending of this story left me stunned. That it is never clear what is going on makes this story even creepier.

The reprints in fantasy were spooky and fun as well. "The Premature Burials" by Andy Duncan made me reflect back on my Edgar Allen Poe readings and contains a touching love story too. "Rat-Catcher" by by Seanan McGuire has Shakespeare, fairies, and cats, a great read.

The novella "Miller's Wife" by Mark W. Tiedemann was intense. I was on the edge of my seat reading this story, it has tension and a cool fantastical small town mystery that plays out in a cool plot. I love reading a story where it all comes together after sticking with it through the beginning.

I was pretty hooked on the Hugh Howey Silo Series with "Wool" but the sneak peek at "Shift" made me even more excited to read the sequel.

The nonfiction in this issue is cool as well. I always appreciate reading suggestions, new perspectives on movies I've enjoyed like Deadpool, and learning more about the new books in the Star Wars universe. I'm really enjoying this subscription and happy to read the issue coming out in only a day or so for next month!

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