Quick Review: The Outside, by Ada Hoffmann

The Outside is a definite mind-bender, serving up shock and awe from the start. What begins as the launch of a cutting edge engine for a run-of-the-mill space station becomes a universe-altering fiasco that has far-reaching implications. The worldbuilding is top notch, slowly revealing this fascinating existence combining future humanity with Gods who run the…

‘Atlas Alone’ Review: Immersive Gaming Meets Dystopian Future

Atlas Alone is an exciting venture into a space, filled with suspense and advanced technologies that I’m sure will populate our shelves one day. It’s a look at a future for humanity that I desperately hope never comes to fruition. Newman takes the fear-mongering of religious zealotry and political extremism to a new level, showing…

‘Tangle’s Game’ Review: A Masterful Thriller in an Uncertain Future

Tangle’s Game starts off with a bang and never quiets down, throwing you into a whirlwind plot that’s equally fascinating and brilliant. By pairing a doubting protagonist with a secret that would topple the world, we get a heightened sense of suspense as she travels around looking for answers, at first ignorant of the forces…

‘The Municipalists’ Review: When Man Meets Witty AI, Brilliance Ensues

The Municipalists is a collection of strangely compelling elements that coalesce beautifully, resulting in one of the more unique novels I’ve read this year. I was surprised to find a novel centered on an uptight civil service worker whose defining feature is an obsession with trains and the transit systems of various cities. Coupled with…

Battlestar Suburbia (Book Review)

Battlestar Suburbia asks what the world would be like if every appliance, gadget and machine suddenly gained sentience. In the tale that follows, McCrudden shows us an irresistible world through a humor-driven narrative that shows a fractured society filled with corruption and constant surveillance by the powers that be. There are many parallels to our world,…

Best Served Slow (Short Review)

Best Served Slow barrels toward a surprising twist and a comical, though haunting, ending. It’s both funny and mysterious, focusing on a main character whose relationship with her son and his wife just got a whole lot stranger. BEST SERVED SLOW Leah Cypess Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October 2018 Issue STORY The story is simple at first,…

The Explainer (Short Review)

The Explainer is a quick peek at a future where artificial intelligence runs our daily lives. Liu pairs hard science with the simplicity of a childhood bedtime story to show the complexities of artificial minds and their abilities to skate around the truth. THE EXPLAINER Ken Liu Lightspeed Magazine, September 2018 Issue STORY The Explainer shows…

Trapezium (Short Review)

Trapezium presents a puzzle in the form of three humans, an AI-adjacent being, and a race to discover a weapon capable of controlling him. It’s funny and thought-provoking, showing us interconnected worlds that are getting closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe. TRAPEZIUM Tony Ballantyne Analog Science Fact & Fiction, September/October 2018 Issue STORY…

Optimizing the Verified Good (Short Review)

Optimizing the Verified Good is the Norma Rae of robot stories, plain and simple. Seiberg is an expert at talking in a robot voice, showing us the thought processes of these AIs as they begin to comprehend the world around them. Bravo on a well-done, engaging robot short story. OPTIMIZING THE VERIFIED GOOD Effie Seiberg…

It Came from the Coffee Maker (Analog Shorts)

It Came from the Coffee Maker is absolutely hilarious, definitely the funniest science fiction short story I’ve read this year. Who knew that a sentient appliance could hold the machinations for controlling the world in between boiling water and ordering coffee beans? IT CAME FROM THE COFFEE MAKER Martin L. Shoemaker Analog Science Fiction & Fact,…