LaborLonging_Valis

The Labor of Longing: A Novella by Noël Valis

– Reviewed by T. F. Rhoden – Those thoughts of ours, the ones that, if they do not haunt us, do whisper to us in a way which causes one to pause and reconsider some moment, some decision, some action of one’s life—those pangs of shiftless consciousness carry both the theme, and many ways, the…

Pony Castle Sofia Banzhaf

Pony Castle by Sofia Banzhaf

– Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope – Sofia Banzhaf’s Pony Castle is a work of beautiful entropy that centres on a dark metamorphosis. Over the course of the novella we witness the nameless narrator’s slow dissolution into a flurry of drugs and sex. There are two central images; the plastic Barbie pony and the image…

Starship Grifters Robert Kroese

Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese

– Reviewed by Elanor Clarke – I have to admit, I came to this book with certain expectations, as I enjoy sci-fi. Though I soon found it wasn’t the sort of thing I’d usually go for, it didn’t let me down – how could I not enjoy a book where someone wins an entire planet…

Dark Star

Dark Star by Oliver Langmead

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – Oliver Langmead’s Dark Star combines many seemingly disparate elements into one beautiful and entertaining story. Drawing on strands of science-fiction, hardboiled detective noir, and formal poetry, Langmead tells the story of a planet where fuel burns darkly and only the wealthy (who own the power companies) can afford to generate…

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The Running Of The Tyrannosaurs by Stant Litore

– Reviewed by Elanor Clarke – The Running of the Tyrannosaurs, a stand-alone story, not quite a novella but a longer short story, tells a first-person account of a ritualistic, barbaric dinosaur race, run by naked, scientifically modified young women in some distant, dystopian future. Despite being short, the scene-setting works well. Stant Litore manages…

You used to hurry home

You Used To Hurry Home by Angelika Rust

 -Reviewed by Bridey Heing– In her latest independently published fantasy tale, Angelika Rust brings about the apocalypse. In the story, a hapless writer named Francis accidentally agrees to bring about the end of time when his shotgun marriage turns sour, which kicks off a string of events that lands Francis, his wife, and his muse…

Valentina

Valentina by Evangeline Jennings

-Reviewed by Kristin Urban-Watson- It’s not an unusual premise for a story: a beautiful exotic young women in beautiful California, with a sampling of simple charm, and sometimes graphic sex. These ingredients have been seen time and time again within literature, but author Evangeline Jennings does something a little bit different. With her novella Valentina,…

The Beauty

The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley

-Reviewed by Richard T. Watson– The Beauty opens with an intriguing idea: a near-future world where all the women have died. This might sound like it makes for a masculine novel, full of men being real men and doing manly things – whatever that means. But actually, the core of this novella is very much…

Lost Art Sinking

The Lost Art of Sinking by Naomi Booth

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – Naomi Booth’s The Lost Art of Sinking is a complex, deeply psychological novella focused on the futility of turning away from the terrors that warp the mirror of your past. Esther Freestone is a troubled girl. When she was twelve her mother had died under mysterious circumstances and she has…

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The Mesmerist’s Daugher by Heidi James

-Reviewed by Cath Barton- The Freudian theory about the child wanting to devour the mother who has nourished her is turned on its head in Heidi James’s vivid novella The Mesmerist’s Daughter. Published as a chapbook by Neon Books, this was originally included in an anthology of shorter fiction, Two Tall Tales and One Short…