A Story by Betsy James: Paradise and Trout

Road Through Woods by Betsy James with permission.

When Hally Kass died, his father put a bridge in his hand.

Anyone would have said it was a reed, the jointed kind that Hally, when he was small, had liked to pull apart and put back together. But it was a bridge, and when his father laid it–it was about eight inches long–on his son’s chest and wrapped his cool fingers around it, he told Hally how he was to use it.

“Go out the door,” he said. “Turn east and follow the road to the mountain. Any being you meet is a demon. Don’t speak.” A willow twig, burned to charcoal, had been laid between the boy’s lips to remind him of what, now, he was.

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Review: Utter Fabrication

Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures is a collection of twenty-two light horror short stories published by Mad Scientist Journal. The stories run from flash to the upper end of short stories at 8000 words. Of the twenty-two authors twelve self-identify as women.

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A Review: Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask (Meerkat Press, 2017) is a collection of twenty super hero stories, but you won’t find a lot of knock-down, drag-out fights between heroes and villains in this anthology. Instead, Behind the Mask focuses on super heroes dealing with matters of everyday life, while still having powers, nemeses, and the myriad other issues with which super heroes are confronted.

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Review by Dawn Vogel: The Shattered Queen by Jaym Gates

Jaym Gates’s collection, The Shattered Queen & Other New Mythologies: A Broken City Miscellany (Falstaff Books, 2016), is a collection of 26 short prose pieces, some of which are more lyrical or poetic than story, and others that create entire worlds in the span of scant few pages. Of the pieces, half are reprints, while the other half are new to this collection.

While all of the pieces are beautifully written, some of the stories stuck with me longer than others. “First Step, Last Breath” tells the story of explorers in over their heads. Using a parallel structure, the reader slowly comes to understand more and more of the truths behind this story, and its inevitable ending.

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Dawn Vogel Reviews Glittership Winter 2017

Glittership began as a podcast for reprints of short stories with LGBTQ characters and themes. Recently, however, they have begun publishing some original stories as well. As of 2017, Glittership is also available in ebook format in advance of the audio versions of the stories.

The first of these collections, Winter 2017, features four original stories and three reprint stories. There’s a range of speculative fiction encompassed in these stories, including high fantasy, sci-fi, and more, similar to other spec fic publications.

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