Review: Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 108, May 2019

Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 108, May 2019 by John Joseph Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cocoons (Nancy Kress) – This story could very easily have gone to a horror place. But instead it ends up being about the complexity of humanity, the perils of colonizing a new world, and hope.

This Way to Paradise (Rati Mehrotra) – After a rapture-style event, things go nuts in India. We follow a family in the aftermath. A couple great twists to the story.

Truth Is Like the Sun (Matthew Kressel) – a pop star goes into space as told through social media comments. It’s a neat way to tell the story although it’s definitely going to date the narrative.
The Iron Man (Max Gladstone) – I’m not 100% sure, but seems to take place in a post-humanity world. (Vs a Ready Player One)
The Ocean That Fades Into Sky (Kathleen Kayembe) – The editor’s note mentioned that this was a rare case (for Lightspeed Magazine) of a story being inspired by the issue’s cover (rather than the other way around). It’s a little confusing at first that all the characters’ names are the names of objects (similar to First Nations story telling where a character might be coyote – as if there was only one coyote in the whole world). Eventually I started getting used to the names. The story has a bit of the feel of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.The metaphor (colonialism) is not hidden at all and pretty obvious. But Kayembe’s writing talent takes that and writes it into their character’s motivations to create a fantastic and fantastical story. I don’t know if things would fall apart in a longer story, but I left wanting to have more stories in this universe of planetary gods and their battles.
The Portal (Debbie Urbanski) – I’m not sure I’ll ever read portal fantasies the same way again after having read Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. This short story seems to at least be a spiritual cousin to those. That said, it tackles a lot of other heavy topics that I don’t want to spoil (although trigger warnings abound). That said, the twist I was expecting didn’t happen – at least not in an obvious way.
The Convexity of Our Youth (Kurt Fawver) – a really well written metaphor about how we ignore the tragedies happening in other cities until they visit upon us. If love to know how the author chanced upon this bizarre metaphor.
The Minor Superhero, at Home after His Series Ends (Adam-Troy Castro) – a nice, light story about minor superheroes that reminds me a bit of Alan Moore’s Top Ten.
Fallow (Sofia Samatar) – a tale of human space exploration that reminds me a bit of Hugh Howey’s Wool.
An Illusion of Thieves (Cate Glass) – A heist tale that seems to take place in “fantasy Italy”. I like the writing style. Added it to my TBR pile.
Book Reviews: May 2019 (LaShawn M. Wanak)- I didn’t find a theme in these reviews.

Media Review: May 2019 (Christopher East) – The author explores Watership Down the book and its 2 movie adaptations.

Interview: Ashok K. Banker (Christian A. Coleman) – Mr. Banker speaks a bit more about the Burnt Empire series.

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