Bick's Reviews on Tangent Online

Bick

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My Review of Clarkesworld #175 - April 2021 is now up on Tangent Online.

With the exception of one story, this was a poor offering, with the other six stories all being deeply flawed for one reason or another. The good story was Sarcophagus by Ray Nayler. I'd skip the rest to be honest.

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J-Sun

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"You are there!" I read your review and, between it and my previous reading experiences, I felt like I knew exactly what the stories were like. "That's story-type 5 and that's story-type 8 and..." Not having read the issue, I can't say for sure of course, but I feel like I don't have to--based on the resonance, it sounds like a great job.
 

Bick

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"You are there!" I read your review and, between it and my previous reading experiences, I felt like I knew exactly what the stories were like. "That's story-type 5 and that's story-type 8 and..." Not having read the issue, I can't say for sure of course, but I feel like I don't have to--based on the resonance, it sounds like a great job.
Glad it is helpful and gives a clear, impression, J-Sun, thanks for your kind words. As a prior reviewer for several years yourself, that's gratifying to read. I like the idea of story-type 5, etc., that would be very helpful. Story-type 13 would crop up quite a bit (pretentious, 'woke'-influenced overwriting, offering little of novelty or interest).
 

Bick

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My review of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - May/Jun 2021 is now up on Tangent Online.

This was a bit hit and miss; quite a few stories I didn't like but others were fine, and three were good and are recommended: Drunkard’s Walk by James Enge, The Plus One by Marie Vibbert and the novella Refugees by Robert Grossbach.

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Bick

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Incidentally, not a review by me, but I was reading through some old Strange Horizon's story reviews, and came cross this one, by @J-Sun, famed member of these forums. It captures exactly how I felt about the last story I reviewed this month in the same e-zine, but he's written it much better. This, from the last para of the review...

Slipstreaming, we emulate the genres of the Little Magazines. We fracture our sentences. Like snippets of verse. We aim to have our style received as literary, so that our lack of plot and clarity will not be seen as shortcomings, but as artfulness.

...is perfect.
 

Bick

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My review of Lightspeed #132 - May 2021 is now up on Tangent Online.

This 'issue' of Lightspeed is a cracker, with 3 good stories. SF short story Hypnopompic Circumstance by Gene Doucette, the 'sword and sorcery' styled fantasy tale The Palace in the Moonlight by Howard Andrew Jones, and especially the horror-fantasy Bones in It by Kristina Ten, are all recommended. The story by Ten was particularly good, I thought.

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J-Sun

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Thanks for the kind words. :)

It's no difficulty to return the favor, either: that's a really well-written Lightspeed review.
 

Bick

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My review of Clarkesworld #177 - June 2021 is now up on Tangent Online.

Three stories by Hugo Award winning authors featured in this issue and all three are recommended: Little Animals by Nancy Kress, Poubelle, by Robert Reed and Bots of the Lost Ark by Suzanne Palmer. The other 4 stories were all weaker (though Our Fate, Told in Photons by K.W. Colyard had some merit too).

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Victoria Silverwolf

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Nice job. Nancy Kress has been doing some fine work lately. Every time I review one of her stories for Tangent, it gets a recommendation. Robert Reed is generally reliable, too. Can't say I'm familiar with Suzanne Palmer, if memory serves.
 

J-Sun

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Palmer's had hits with things like "The Secret Life of Bots" (9/17 Clarkesworld) and "Thirty-Three Percent Joe" (10/18 Clarkesworld) if those ring any bells. Ironically (to me), "Bots" was the one that won the award and I didn't care for it, while "Joe" was okay to me, but didn't win. Sounds like the story in this issue is a sequel to the award-winner. I seem to have lost my taste for Reed lately but he's written some great stuff and Kress, while she hits me better in magazine form than in book form, can also be great. Sounds like some good stuff.
 

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