Review of “To the editor: Monsters belong in schools” by Zella Christensen

As the title implies, this story takes the form of a letter to the editor, echoing nicely all polite sneering and the righteous indignation often found in such missives. At issue is the time-honored tradition of keeping various monsters in the dungeons of schools. The letter-writer concedes an earlier point from a “well-intentioned” Miss TickalContinue reading “Review of “To the editor: Monsters belong in schools” by Zella Christensen”

Review of “Prodrome” by Amanda Leigh

The title “Prodrome” is defined in an epigraph: “any symptom that signals the impending onset of a disease.” Sage tells his story in a series of journal entries beginning December 3, 2017. He is outside walking his dog when he sees the old man who lives in the apartment below him walking. The old manContinue reading “Review of “Prodrome” by Amanda Leigh”

Review of “The Case of the Fiery Fingers” by Erle Stanley Gardner

Perry Mason, attorney at law, is just returning to his office from a long day at court. His secretary, Della Street, has a pile of letters for him to sign, and one client to see. The potential has been waiting for an hour. Mason at first demurs, but Della tells him the girl is inContinue reading “Review of “The Case of the Fiery Fingers” by Erle Stanley Gardner”

Review of “Say ‘Cheese!'” by John Francis Keane

The story opens with an invitation: “Let us go to the place. It is time for us to live forever.” This could mean a couple of things. It becomes especially intriguing when the reader learns the tribe’s children stay behind in the care of “old Sundoo” because they cannot sit still long enough to liveContinue reading “Review of “Say ‘Cheese!’” by John Francis Keane”

Review of “Deerstalking: Contemplating an Old Tradition” by Page Lambert

This is a non-fiction memoir. In striking and memorable images, the author shows the reader first, a deer that died entangled in a barbed wire fence; a tiny fawn, abandoned by its mother, that died of dehydration, despite human efforts; and her children’s reaction to the heart of a deer her husband has killed. InContinue reading “Review of “Deerstalking: Contemplating an Old Tradition” by Page Lambert”

Review of “After the First Comes the Last” by Holly Lyn Walrath

Plot: Aria’s first spell is almost an accident, but it fills a need. She wants to lift the stain out of the carpet, so her mother will not know she has been smoking. Beyond that, she fills a need she did not know she had. She is satisfied—happy, empowered—that she could make a spell work.Continue reading “Review of “After the First Comes the Last” by Holly Lyn Walrath”

Review of “It Will Be Under the Next Stone” by Jennifer Linnaea

She is the best, Hananh tells the reader. Her name is Gwenneth. Among her sensitivities are the ability to “overhear a conversation between spirits in a gurgling brook or overturn those rare rocks with djinn correspondence carved on the bottom.” Hananh herself is sensitive. She knows the acacias have been talking about her, but sheContinue reading “Review of “It Will Be Under the Next Stone” by Jennifer Linnaea”

Review of “The Space Radio (Isaac and Sarah and the Star)” by Wayne Haroutunian

Aging Mortimer Cain still sits on a rocking chair on his back porch, gazing out over the waves at a particular star. The beach by his home is empty now, but a young man—hardly more than a boy—used come to the shoreline in all sorts of weather with a radio. Eyes fixed toward the sky,Continue reading “Review of “The Space Radio (Isaac and Sarah and the Star)” by Wayne Haroutunian”

Review of “The Things That We Will Never Say” by Vanessa Fogg

Aside from the science fiction trappings, this is a portrait of an adult daughter’s relationship with her aging mother. The daughter has left home—Earth—for a distant star. She returns, braving the hyperspace travel, bringing her children for a visit with their grandma. The daughter straddles both worlds now: her adopted home and Earth. She knowsContinue reading “Review of “The Things That We Will Never Say” by Vanessa Fogg”

Review of “Seeds of the Soul Flowers” by M. K. Hutchins

Babies born without souls die. Amma’s great-grandson, born with half a soul, appears to be failing. Vette, the baby’s mother, brings him to Amma, asking if there’s anything she can do. The baby is refusing to eat. Even if they spoon milk into his mouth, he pushes it out with his tongue and lets itContinue reading “Review of “Seeds of the Soul Flowers” by M. K. Hutchins”