Mar 252014
 
Martin Reviews: Questionable Practices

  Reading Eileen Gunn’s latest collection of short fiction, Questionable Practices (Small Beer Press, 2014), is like buying a grab bag full of fireworks, having a few beers and then lighting fuses…and with each fuse, you have no idea what to expect. Launch. Color. Bang! It’s all here in an extraordinary display of virtuosity and craftsmanship. This collection is a perfect example of what contemporary speculative fiction should be, and Gunn is fearless as she leads us through the captivating landscape of her imagination. The three strongest pieces in this collection are “Up the Fire Road, “ “Chop Wood, Carry […]

May 222013
 
Review: Perfect Flaw

This was a collection of dark dystopian, often post-apocalyptic, stories. There were no real happy endings here. Every story had a sombre serious feel, and yet it never felt depressing. My two favourite stories were: Useless by Ellen Brock – This was the only story had seemed to showcase hope, even if that seems the opposite of the title. The Choosing by Michael O’Connor – I was impressed by the inclusion of two distinct themes in one short story: innocence, and how expectations often differ from reality. I was amazed at the variety of planets, governments and situations explored in […]

May 202013
 
Review: Ride the Moon

This collection of short stories was an eclectic mix of happy and sad. The moon was featured in several different ways, more than just the average outerspace feature or mythical goddess. I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. My favourites were: Small Seven’s Secret by Billie Milholland – This would make an intriguing full length story. It was centered around the message “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Cherry Blossoms by Amy Laurens – This was a sad story about waiting too long for something and having life pass you by. Je Me Souviens by Edward Willett […]

May 132013
 
Review: Beyond Asimios

This was an exciting start to the series of short stories. As the start of a space adventure, the story jumps into the action, and yet still manages to provide a lot of background info without the dreaded info-dump. Graf is easy to feel sorry for. He is consumed with grief over his wife, job and life in general, yet he isn’t ready to give up quite yet. He has his convictions, and is willing to stand up for them, regardless of the consequences. I loved this short story, and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Mar 222013
 
Review: Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories

This was a collection of short stories that really surprised me. I didn’t expect there to be such a wide variety of characters and plotlines. When you think superhero, I picture the classic good guy in tights saving the world. But this collection showed me that it can be much more than that. Like most short story collections, some stories make more of an impression that others. My favourites included Nocturne, which features an ordinary man who dreams he is a superhero, The Seamstress Without a Costume, which features a woman who creates the costumes for both superheros and villains, […]

Feb 202013
 
Review: The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

This was a unique collection of stories about evil geniuses. There were some good stories, and some not-so-good stories, told by well known authors and not-so-famous authors. My favourite part of the collection was the introductions to each story. They were well thought out and highlighted the best parts of each story. Some of my favourite stories were the following: The Executor – This was an exciting, coherent, full story with an easy to discern message about the power of love and family. This story was exactly what I would expect from the author of Robopocalypse. The Angel of Death […]

Sep 242012
 
Review: Downside Girls

This is a short story collection that introduces the reader to the world of the Hidden Empire series. As an introduction, this book worked great. After finishing it, I knew I wanted to read the first book in the Hidden Empire series. The world building through the short stories was very well done, and made me want to experience more. Looking at each story individually, I liked Collateral Damage the best. It was simple yet complex. It was the first story in the collection, so offered my first taste at Angels and the world of topside vs downside. Things were […]