Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Magazine Review: Lightspeed Magazine Issue 72

Lightspeed had an impressive issue for May 2016. The stories traveled from deep space to just outside the atmosphere to Wonderland to digital worlds where nothing is real. I enjoyed everything I read this month from Lightspeed and look forward to seeing more from all of the authors and contributors.

The science fiction brought us to some interesting views of the future. Of the original fiction, "Three Points Masculine" by An Owomoyela is a cool military sci-fi tale that incorporates an interesting, mind-expanding discussion of gender roles in the military and throughout life. I especially liked the action and how the story ended. "Deathlight" by Mari Ness explored what survival would be like in deep space and put a unique twist on an extraterrestrial encounter. The reprints started with "Tethered" by Haris A. Durrani about the debris that gathers up outside of Earth as human continue to launch satellites into space. The story not only had cool action but a unique cultural view and very informative prose. "The Philosopher's Stone" by Tora Greve reflected back to the time of Newton and posed an intriguing alternate history of aliens' first visit.

The fantasy took new takes on old stories. "The Jaws that Bite, the Claws that Catch" by Seanan McGuire gives a wholly different look of Wonderland from a different character's perspective. "Wednesday's Story" by Wole Talabi stopped time with Solomon Grundy and has a personification of days that I found cool to read. The reprints brought me into a bigger world with "North Over Empty Space" by Tim Pratt and his adventures of characters with special powers that I had not seen depicted this way before. "Hungerford Bridge" by Elizabeth Hand started out as a normal story but then shocked me with a fantastical revelation that I can't quite tell you about unless you read it.

Hugh Howey's novella "The Plagiarist" is great and well worth getting a subscription to the magazine. It tells such a school story about virtual worlds and explores what it means to be alive in a very cool and engaging way. I can't wait to read the next two books in his Silo Series. I also liked the chapter from Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Water Knife". This book has been on my to-read list for a while and reading a chapter just reinforced my wanting to purchase it soon.

As always, the nonfiction essays were cool with some good reviews of stuff that I wanted to check out and have read. I always like reading what other people think about the fiction I encounter. The author spotlights also help me understand stories and learn about writers that are producing content I want to seek out. Four months into my subscription to Lightspeed and it is worth every penny!

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