18 February 2008

Unvarnished Reviews

I gave the stuff I said in this post a few more seconds thought, and decided that without that bit of accountability, I didn't feel compelled to read as much. So rather than doing a simple list here, and a review elsewhere, I'm going to compromise.

And, here we go--a list of what I read last week, with a quick, unvarnished impression about each piece.

All the readings, except where otherwise indicated, are from The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

David J. Schwartz, "The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend With an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" - Cool title. Nice mix of the mythical, the magical, and the real. 4 out of 5.

Veronica Schanoes, "Serpents" - This is the second story I've read from the author, the first being "Rats." "Serpents" isn't quite as powerful, but just as beautifully written. 4 out of 5.

David Marusek, "Osama Phone Home" - From the December '07 F&SF. A little something for the mundane sci-fi lovers out there. Some exposition "worthy" of the usual sci-fi, though it probably moved about as quickly as possible. Saw the twist end coming, but from only about a tenth of a mile away. 3.5 out of 5.

Benjamin Rosenbaum & David Ackert, "Stray" - Also from the Dec. '07 F&SF. A historical fantasy, with time and place deftly defined in a single paragraph--that alone was worth the price of admission! A nice steady pace too, despite a couple of jumps in time. The conceit is sort of close to a story I wrote and have been shopping around, but only if you squint your eyes really hard. 5 out of 5.

Douglas Lain, "Music Lessons" - Brilliant concept and brilliant combination of Mr. Rogers and Whitley Streiber. Too alienating (get it?) to read at the end of a work day, though. 3.5 out of 5.