POLLINGER’S NOTEBOOK: YEARS 4.3 – 6.4 By Mark Burgh
- Gene-mod researcher discovers one of the mice can talk. He finds himself falling for her (although never explicitly stated). Circumstances force them apart. Neither goes where they want to, but they make do.
- Complex, interesting characters. The narrative lost me a time or two, but compelling work. Worth a read.
- Author appears to be a poet.
2013 reader award
PROMISED LAND By Rebecca Ann Jordan
- A strange yet appealing confluence of high fantasy, tradition, and technology.
- Ariadne is the king's daughter and wants to be his champion. Through trickery and the voices she hears, she not only does this before a swarm of cameras, but takes over the king's position. We learn she has had other orders all along.
- This story could have ended in many places and maybe should have, in theory. However, the places it might stopped at would have made it too predictable. As such, this has the scope more of a novel than of a story. This frequent change-up impedes flow and becomes hard to follow when the story changes direction and loses sight of whatever trajectory it was following. Nonetheless, the inventive and zealous imagination makes up for any shortcomings. Read to be swept away, not to follow a story-line. It's a roller-coaster ride with the anticipation taken out--just drops, twists and turns.
- The author (and editor) can be found at various journals, including Bartleby Snopes.
Feb 2014 editor:
MEN ARE NOT DRAGONS By Stephen V. Ramey
- A would-be boy slayer of dragons is taken in by the dragon. Although the boy slayer managed to stick his sword in, he didn't live to finish the job. The interesting start does not gain momentum until about half way in when the boy, who once longed for the dragon's death, suddenly fears for the dragon--perhaps fearing for his own death with the dragon. They protect one another until the inevitable end.
- Stylistically handled and moving. Although a fantasy, a common biological theme runs through this.
- Author, also an editor, has appeared in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction.