Web fiction reviews by Lauren Colie
Sorrow, sadness and the end of humanity as we know it. Not every story has a happy ending, and we’ve pulled three this week for some cathartic healing. Revel in the misery—let it all out! And, when all seems lost, find the glimmer of hope in the dark.
A Review of The Ministry of the Eye, by Dale Bailey at Lightspeed Magazine
He would not endanger the boy for all the contraband beauty in Acheron. Yet that was exactly what he had done, and for what? A chunk of polished wood so lustrous that he could almost see himself in it, or imagined he could.
In a dingy police state of endless queueing, order and grime, Alex Gerst has seen the light. Or rather, he’s been glimpsing peculiar bits and pieces of…if you can believe it…beauty. The rainbow of motor oil on water, the swirl in a knot of wood—yes, even a scrap of yellow fabric! He’s got the eye for these tiny treasures…and the ministry has their eye on him. How far in harm’s way will he throw his family?
Bailey brings to life a state thriving on not only death, but suffering. Tread carefully, and try not to the beauty that slumbers in Acheron, the city surrounding the pit. Spoiler alert: nothing good comes from defying the State.
Read it HERE
A Review of The Age of Sorrow, by Nancy Kilpatrick at Lightspeed Magazine
Every day she thanked whatever deities still cared about this poor planet for the fact that this disease first rotted the brain of the inflicted, otherwise they would long ago have taken to using tools and breaching her barrier.
In this dystopic pick, it’s not the State who has taken charge—it’s the plants. In this bizarre potential future, global warming has led to vegetation for all. The plants have thrived, and the people have zombified. Our lady survivalist has camped out in New Zealand, meeting the apocalypse head-on, but there is that small matter of a weak spot in her fence…
Kilpatrick offers a pointed warning about the danger of humanity’s habits in an imaginative riff on the classic zombie infection tale. She challenges us to decide: is it so wrong to go gentle into that bad night?
Read it HERE
A Review of Nine Thousand Hours, by Iona Sharma at Strange Horizons
It is not long enough to write down everything that has ever been written—there were eleven of us in that room beneath the earth and even eleven times over, it is not enough—but I have the magic I’ve always had, carried from the sea, and the willingness to try and reverse what I did. Word by word, step by step, we coax it back.
Talk about unusual punishment—nine thousand hours of reparation is a little much for this communication breakdown. At least for Sharma, the damage could potentially be undone. Join Amal and Cally in this magical maelstrom that erases all the words from the world simply for striving for an extra convenience.
Again, we are asked to question our ways. Read this one last for the hint of hope that we can rise, rediscover and rebuild as a race.