Monday, December 28, 2015

Fiction River #15 Recycled Pulp

As I write this it is January 1, 2016 but I will post it in 2015.  My challenge to read 100 short stories in 2015 was ignored for much of the year but it was in the last two months that I made an effort to accomplish it.

I've been reading a few collections in those months and have been reviewing the stories individually, in draft form, with the plan to publish them once I completed the collections.  So, in the effort to track my reading in 2015, below is a review of the stories read from the collections I have not completed.  As I finish the collections I will count the remaining storeis towards my 2016 goal.



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I've been a long-time fan of Kristine Kathryn Rush's work, while on her website I found that she's been busy starting up her own publishing business.  From that I discovered the anthology magazine Fiction River where each issue focuses on on particular genre.  Being a fan of pulp I thought I'd buy this issue and give it a spin.

From the introduction I learned that this may not be exactly what I thought I was getting into.  There were some very special and interesting rules the editors put on the authors.  This I found intriguing and thought it would be a nice way to get some exposure to genres I would not usually buy.

That's the real reason to read anthologies; to be introduced to the new.

The Revolt of the Philosophers of Fomalhaut - by Phaedra Weldon.

91/100 - Angles are sent to Earth to kill.  Yup to kill.  This rubs our angelic narrator the wrong way and we discover with him what is going on and how to deal with it.

You know what?  This was quite a compelling story.  I enjoyed it and could see it on an episode of the Twilight Zone.  Not the old one but a new 21st century version of the show.  Putting this story to a visual medium would be interesting.

Marvelous Contrivances of the Heart - by Cat Rambo.

92/100 - Another quiet, elegant story about two people who have their own problems. An obsessive husband and a deeply sad, frustrated wife.

An then something strange happens and the entire story takes on a sinister feeling. 

The Flower of the Tabernacle  - by Annie Reed 

93/100 - This collection is turning into something unexpected.  I was sure it would be a collection of genre stories but it's looking like something much more compelling and heavy.

This on js a straight up police detective story.  I was reminded of Lawrence Block in the telling of the discovery of a dead woman in a church.  Murder? Suicide? Something else?  This was a story very well told.

Lost in the Tarnished Cube - by Thomas K. Carpenter

94/100 - A wizard buys a tower.  His mortgage is backed by a magical bank.  It comes due unexpectedly.  He must handle the penalty in his own way.

Sadly, this story did not work for me.

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