Saturday, November 5, 2016

Magazine Review: Uncanny Magazine (Issue 12)

Uncanny Magazine continues to impress and supply the Space Unicorn Corps with great new short fiction and poetry to read. The stories in this issue had me thinking and kept me on my toes as I never quite knew what was going to happen as entered new worlds conjure up by some of the top authors in the industry. I didn't fully understand the stories but there certainly made me feel things that I could think about later.

"My Body, Herself" by Carmen Maria Machado tells of a dead girl who sees her double and begins a strange relationship. This is the kind of story where the actual plot goes over my head but delivers strong feeling about life, death, and birth. The story is well written which adds to its impact.

"Not a Miracle, But a Marvel" by Tim Pratt is a silly story that was fun to read. Two couples find a portal to an alternate dimension and confront a supernatural being. I had a good time venturing into the fairy world and would like to think places like the one describe actually exist somewhere out in the remote wilderness. 

"Under One Roof" by Sarah Pinsker was a frightening tale but not in a typical way one might imagine. I realized how much I take for granted being able to leave a place and the core relationship adds to the story's strange occurrences. A couple moves into an old house with a locked room and the husband decides to investigate to find that certain things just should be left alone.

One of my favorite stories of the issue was the fantasy story "The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight" by E. Lily Yu. The story twists around the typical fairytale plot but has all the dragon slaying and princess rescuing that are tropes of the story. A witch aids a young knight on his quest to slay dragons but the gender roles are challenged and relationships are not always what we think. 

Another story that I'll really take away to think about from this issue was "Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex" by Ferrett Steinmetz. A woman works as a phone sex operator and falls for one of her clients how only wants to speak about architecture. One of the craziest relationships I've read about all year blossoms when the caller turns out to have a unique condition.

"Ogres of East Africa" by Sofia Samatar used an interesting style of listing of various ogres to include a story within the descriptions. I'd like to revisit this story when I have more time to focus as part of the plot got lost to me in the interesting description of all the ogres that inhabit this region of the world. 

As always, Uncanny has great poetry that is fun to read and think about and be transporting by, and the nonfiction in this issues explored why we have such a deep connection to science and fantasy fiction. The editors work hard and churn out enough fiction that I have a hard time keeping up as I'm still an issue behind. I'll try to read their latest by the end of the year!

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