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What I Read in June:

I read only a handful of new short fiction stories last month - I'm going to blame all of the awesome anthologies I was catching up with from the past year. In any case, here a trio of short stories well worth your effort to track down.

  • First off, finding "Great Black Wave" by David Tallerman on Nightmare was a real pleasant discovery. A very cool blend of military sci-fi and horror this is a story to read for a unique and well-described setting. A contingent of American soldiers descend upon an obscure Afghani village in search of a bomb maker. To examine a forbidden cave they employ a spider like, smart-drone. The apocalypse the drone unearths supplies the title of the story. A story like this really thrives on attention to detail, which Tallerman provides effortlessly.
  • All the Hippies are Dying by Gwendolyn Kiste. Most of the stories I've read from Kiste are weird horror or dark fairy tales. This is a bit closer to a slipstream vignette. As usual the author uses spare but powerful prose in a tale about a mother dying from an unsettling form of cancer. I think what struck me about this story is how the uses of magic realism somehow add to tension between the daughter and the mother in the story, as though the fantastical bits are just one more way the mother has let the daughter down.
  • Last Sailing of the Henry Charles Morgan in six pieces of scrimshaw (1848) by AC Wise. Creepy experimental story telling the apparent tale of the destruction of a ship and its crew at the hands of some kind of marine creature. I've read other stories that use a description of found objects to tell a story but few that made the resulting tale as immediate or compelling.

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