Bick's Reviews on Tangent Online

Bick

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My review of Lightspeed #142 - March 2022 is now up on Tangent Online.
I rather liked the comedic novelette Bhatia, P.I. by Shiv Ramdas and the SF short story The Historiography of Loss by Julianna Baggott.

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Bick

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Looks like quite a wide variety of stories in this issue - something for just about everyone.
Yes, it was quite varied in style and genre, and it was also better than some Lightspeeds. I find this e-zine has good months, but also occasionally very bad ones, where I need to really push through to read them, and where if I wasn't reviewing I'd chuck it. This month was a relatively strong one.
 

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My review of Tor.com - April 2022 is now up on Tangent Online.

This included some work that was hard to get through (i.e. not very good), but The Dominion of Leviathan by Manish Melwani was quite good. It was reminiscent of old solar system golden age Williamson or Wandrei, in some ways - stylistically different than much modern SF.

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Victoria Silverwolf

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Fine job as always. Your comments on the first story make me think of the fact that I sometimes feel like some authors throw in as many weird things as possible, particularly at the start of a narrative, to create a sense of strangeness right away.
 

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My review of Asimov's Science Fiction - May/June 2022 is now up on Tangent Online.

It was quite a strong issue, I felt, although a few stories defeated me and were really not so good (notably the cover story Silverado, which is a mess). The best stories were, in my opinion, the novelettes Rocket Girls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and The Wine-Dark Deep by Sheila Finch and the short stories 30 by Rich Larson, Destiny Delayed by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and First Fish by Bruce McAllister.

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J-Sun

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Cool review. Of the authors you mention, Larson and McAllister often write things I like and I reviewed an anthology co-edited by Ekpeki which was excellent and included a good tale of his. I also often like Van Pelt's stuff and suspect I might like his contribution even more than you do. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Robertson did lose the handle because/but he writes some really wild stuff sometimes. When it works, it can be a blast. And I think your comments on Reed's Great Ship stories are exactly right - I don't know how much he's written about it but it's a few novels and seems like 50 stories. It's like a great, but overly serialized TV show which, regardless of the quality of the episodes, keeps losing viewers because it can't replace those who've had enough with anyone who can understand what's going on anymore. Anyway, this issue has at least one story I'd definitely skip but it sounds generally good.
 

Bick

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Larson ... often write things I like
Yes, his hit rate seems to be pretty good.

I just checked through my list of recommended stories from reviews and I liked Reed's last Great Ship story ("Poubelle") better and actually gave it a rec on Tangent. My memory was that it was less trippy and required less Great Ship understanding to get it.

For what it's worth, the authors I've found provide the most consistently good output over the last few years have been: Ray Nayler, Adam-Troy Castro, Marie Vibbert and Brenda Kalt. If I see anything by them in something I'm going to review, I know I'll like at least some of the magazine.
 
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J-Sun

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Adam-Troy Castro
We like a lot of the same stuff, but not everything. :) That's someone - he's got some series about... well, I forget what it's about but I looked it up and it's called the "Draiken" series... that I can stand, but he's published twice a month in every issue under the sun and I otherwise invariably hate his stories so it got to be quite a chore to force myself to read them and to write measured negative reviews which articulated what I saw as faults instead of just frothing and screaming. There was one story for Nightmare I think, which was just 10 pages of people getting smashed into bloody bits with a literal flood of blood at the end that was just such easy writing and so ludicrously without taste or judgment or artistic balance or... *froth scream*

But it must just be me, because he sure sells and other people seem to like him, including people whose taste I respect, like you.
 

Bick

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We like a lot of the same stuff, but not everything. :) That's someone - he's got some series about... well, I forget what it's about but I looked it up and it's called the "Draiken" series... that I can stand, but he's published twice a month in every issue under the sun and I otherwise invariably hate his stories so it got to be quite a chore to force myself to read them and to write measured negative reviews which articulated what I saw as faults instead of just frothing and screaming. There was one story for Nightmare I think, which was just 10 pages of people getting smashed into bloody bits with a literal flood of blood at the end that was just such easy writing and so ludicrously without taste or judgment or artistic balance or... *froth scream*

But it must just be me, because he sure sells and other people seem to like him, including people whose taste I respect, like you.
It may just reflect that I’ve only read four or five stories, which I liked, and perhaps I got lucky with those ones, and managed to miss his uneven material. His fantasy story A Tableau of Things That Are in Sep 2021 Lightspeed was terrific, I thought.
 

J-Sun

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Yeah, and it's also always possible (though maybe not very likely, as he's been at it awhile) that he's gotten better or changed his style. But, like I say, it's probably just me and I shouldn't have said anything, but I was just inspired to vent. ;)
 

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My review of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction - Jul/Aug 2022 is now up on Tangent Online.

It had some quite strong stories, though nothing really great. Quite a few horror stories this month too. The best stories in this issue, I thought, were the novelette The Song of Lost Voices by Brian Trent, and the short story The Wild Son by Rajeev Prasad.

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Bick

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My review of Analog - Sep/Oct 2022 is now up on Tangent Online.

Rather a mixed issue, some good some bad, as is typical. The highlights for me are the novella Kingsbury 1944 by Michael Cassutt (certainly the best story in the issue), the novelette No One the Wiser by Tom Greene and the short stories Companion by Ron Collins, Bumblebot by Marie Vibbert and Each Separate Star by Jonathan Sherwood. This issue was especially notable for having far too many very short stories.

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