Review: Lightspeed Magazine, April 2018

Lightspeed Magazine, April 2018 by John Joseph Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


What is Eve? (Will McIntosh) – Will does a great job with the story. The reader can probably guess the general direction of the story, but it’s the details that make it shine. I think he also does a good job with the voice of a middle school kid.

Webs (Mary Anne Mohanraj) – Starts off with what seems like a metaphor for being trans and then it adds on a straight story of being trans on top of the metaphor. It’s unfortunately how perennial the issue is that this was written years ago and yet feels fresh now.
The Elephants’ Crematorium (Timothy Mudie) – we’ve seen a few movies/books/etc with a plot in which something ending the cycle of life. This one increases the stakes by considering other animals as well. I found the narrative very emotionally affecting.
Mozart on the Kalahari (Steven Barnes) – I’ve heard expressions similar to the title of this short story. The “moral”, as such, of the story is one we would do well to get more people to think about.

The Old Women Who Were Skinned (Carmen Maria Machado) – This was a freaky bit of microfiction. It had the narrative voice of an old fairy tale.
A Place Without Portals (Adam-Troy Castro) – Loved this story and the ending was great! It seems that in 2018 something was in the air – this story and others seem to be in conversation with Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, The Magicians trilogy, and with the ideas and tropes of portal fantasies.
The Snow Train (Ken Liu) – A fun fable that takes place in Boston. Fun doesn’t mean without tragedy or emotions, but I would definitely give this story to a middle school student.
Nitrate Nocturnes (Ruth Joffre) – Rare for a short story, given the limited page count, Joffre establishes the world’s rules and, just as we’re getting comfortable, changes them up with exceptions. (The author spotlight reveals this was the author’s intention) Overall, I think Joffre does a great job at showing how the world would be different both at the personal and at the societal level if we had these timers. Also, I thought the way the sex was depicted was very interesting – less about describing action and more about describing effect.
Lazy Dog Out (Suzanne Palmer) – a great story with lots of found family elements without that being the main conflict. Left me wanting to see more if this universe.
Bryan Camp | The City of Lost Fortunes (Bryan Camp) – choose to skip because it’s the subject matter.
Book Reviews: April 2018 (Christie Yant) – the first book didn’t sound understanding to me, but the second one sounds even more prescient in today’s world with AI
Media Review: April 2018 (Carrie Vaughn and Christopher East) – first movie sounds very interesting. The TV show review seems to be a good reminder of how seemingly works feel rated as newer authors build on the ideas.
Interview: Angus McIntyre (Christian A. Coleman) – good interview about a budding space opera universe.

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