November 9th, 2017, Casper D. Luckinbill, What Are You Going to Do? by Nick Wolven, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2017, originally published on The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2016.
Blurb: This is a story about the future of terrorism. It introduces an intriguing concept called “mediaterrorism,” in which the type of targeted ads found on Facebook and Instagram are replaced by videos and images of horrible things happening all over the world in countries the person has never heard of. Only once you send money to the terrorists will they stop showing you these horrible images. It’s a clever concept, and likely not far away. Though in this story it’s taken to a very futuristic level. One that’s quite disturbing. I really good cautionary tale, though I felt the ending was a bit underwhelming. (B)
November 10th, 2017, I Was A Teenage Werewolf by Dale Bailey, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2017, originally published in Nightmare Magazine, 2016.
Blurb: A strong allegory of how those within the dominant narrative scapegoat large portions of people of specific races, cultures, and religions, when a small percentage of these people do something bad. This story also has werewolves in it, which I’m not really into. I thought the coolest part about the story, however, was the collective first person narrative (we), as told from the accumulated populace of teenagers within this town. Well written and strong subject matter–but werewolves are much overdone. (C+)
November 11th, 2017, Retrieval by Suzanne Walker, Clarkesworld, 2017.
Blurb: This story didn’t take me in the least. It was linear and dull. Basically Ghost Busters in space, but the main character is searching for her father’s ghost. It was pretty predictable and in the end I just didn’t feel as though it addressed any deeper meaning that was contextual and relevant to our times. It was coherent. (D)
November 12th, 2017, Baker by Sheila Massie, published on Flash Fiction Online, 2017.
Blurb: A flash fiction piece about a baker who sees his baking of bread and the giving of foods as a kind of magic. There is talk of demons in this book, but it seemed just an allegory for hunger to me. This is the author’s first published piece, and while it didn’t blow my mind, it’s certainly a well written first piece of fiction to have published. Congratulations! (C)