Shorts of the Week: Magic, Orcs, and a Unicorn

The shorts of the week include a community of orcs amidst modern-day society, a world where magic has consequences, a talented tapir on the loose, and the coping mechanisms of a girl trying to find normalcy in the world. Check out all of the reviews below!

The Free Orcs of Cascadia

Written by Margaret Killjoy
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
March/April 2019

The Free Orcs of Cascadia is a fascinating story detailing the creation of a counterculture where LARPing moves beyond the make believe and becomes reality. We see bands of people identifying as orcs and reverting their society back to pre-modern norms and fighting styles.

The Crafter at the Web's Heart

Written by Izzy Wasserstein
Apex Magazine
February 2019

The Crafter at the Web’s Heart is a powerful tale of magic and the collapse of a society that benefits the rich and forgets the poor. Our lead character is a rogue at heart who gets caught up in a plot to level-set the world and bring about massive change. There are two main strengths that stand out: the depiction of magic and its effects on the caster, and a critique of a society centered on a culture of wealth.

Terrible Trudy on the Lam

Written by Eileen Gunn
Asimov’s Science Fiction
March/April 2019

Terrible Trudy on the Lam is a wildly fun read, introducing us to a tapir who has escaped from the San Diego Zoo. I loved this tale—it’s imaginative and as fun as a short story could be. 

The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager's Bedroom

Written by Thomas K. Carpenter
Galaxy’s Edge
March 2019

The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom is a deeply emotional tale, depicting a girl who struggles with the realities of the life she’s been given and her tentative place in the world. She retreats from her anger-filled home life and her unsupportive school environment into fantasy worlds from books and movies, trying desperately to find some sense of normalcy within the characters and plots.

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Author: Jacob Olson

Writing about science fiction and fantasy at! I write reviews on novels, short stories, television, movies, etc. and throw in a few articles and thoughts as well.