This post is a little delayed this month due to a busy schedule of revisions, revisions, and more revisions. For the most part, my reading this month was taken up in reviewing the Cyclopean Issue #1. My own story, "The Mystagogue" was the lead-off story and I was curious about the other work appearing within the issue. I wish this magazine a long life because they put together a collection of work that truly gets me excited for the stories they find.
- After the Big One by Adam Rothstein. (Motherboard) My lead off recommendation is this multipart multimedia fictionalized account of the Big One - a megaquake on the Cascade subduction zone. After a 9.0+ earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon struggles to survive. This is an amazing project really - taking the stuff of summer block busters and making a story both specific, epic, and consequential. Rothstein brings considerable moral focus to bear on the aftershocks of the disaster and the lack of preparedness that virtually guarantees a horrendous loss of life.
- Old haunts by Dominic Stabile. This was my favorite story in the Cyclopean Press issue. The concept of the story - husbands grappling with a house that both imprisons and rejuvenates them -is interesting and I appreciated the sincerity of Stabile's character development. The way the story lingers over the lives and conflicts of the characters was appealing and worth emulating.
- The Little Girl That Came From The Sea by Gwendolyn Kiste. (Kraxon Magazine) I like stories I can't get out of my head and this one fits the bill. A simple, spare tale about a pair of siblings who discover on the shore of an ocean an unearthly child, a girl born of the sea speaking a strange language. In the space of a few pages, Kiste weaves elements of Aphrodite, Gabrielle Garcia Marquez, and Little Mermaid into a spooky dream-like mediation.
- Them! By Joseph Rubas (Cyclopean). Rubas channels a fairly convincing imitation of Stephen King to tell this lurid, enjoyable story of an alien invasion. Cyclopean Press doesn't shy away from longer stories, giving authors the chance to develop and complicate their worlds.
- Seven cups of coffee by A.C. Wise. (Clarkesworkd). A beautiful story of two women brought together by time travel, desire, and unfinished coffee.