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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Galaxy's Edge #32, May/June 2018

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Galaxy’s Edge #32, May/June 2018

Just One More Kitten GIF” by Effie Seiberg

Diamonds in the Rough” by Alex Shvartsman
The Violet Hour” by Laurence Raphael Brothers
Emergency Evaluation for Penny Ante, As Recorded by Cal-Q-Tron of the Benevolent Order of Heroes” by Karlo Yeager Rodriguez
Being a Giant in Men’s World” by Walter Dinjos
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Love Potion Infusion” by Leah Cypess
Reality Show” by Brian K. Lowe
Jackbox” by Brian Trent

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

This 32nd issue of Galaxy’s Edge contains eight original stories, including three novelettes.

Just One More Kitten GIF” by Effie Seiberg

This is the short fantasy of a procrastinating college student. Jen must complete a sociology paper but decides to open one last kitten GIF.

She finds herself transported to procrastination hell, where the demon UR feeds off people’s waste of brain power. Chained, can she trick the demon into letting her go?

Seiberg’s short fantasy had a nice rhythm to it. And though predictable, it was an easy story to read.

Diamonds in the Rough” by Alex Shvartsman

Igor works for Makarov, who is trading Soviet-era AK-47’s for uncut diamonds in this SF short. But things start to go awry when Mak’s geologist discovers Earth is not the source of these diamonds.

Then, when local criminal rivals try to ambush Mak’s arms trade, the gun buyers show their extraterrestrial technological capabilities. As the smoke clears, Igor must decide where he loyalties lie.

The story had a simple and uninspiring plot.

The Violet Hour” by Laurence Raphael Brothers

Kallitoxotis, an equine, is the underworld’s sheriff in this short fantasy. She is meeting with a US marshal, Mrs. Miller, from ‘topside’ when a fight breaks out in the nearby saloon.

Kallitoxotis heads over to sort out the three drunk giants and Mrs. Miller tags along, interested to see how the underworld works. When they arrive at the saloon, the US marshal decides to get involved.

The author has written a story that lacks inspiration. The characters are poorly developed and generate no real pull for the reader to care what happens.

Emergency Evaluation for Penny Ante, As Recorded by Cal-Q-Tron of the Benevolent Order of Heroes” by Karlo Yeager Rodriguez

Rodriguez’s short fantasy is about Penny Ante, a side-kick on probation to the super-hero ‘the Major’. She is good at her job but lacks the social skills to please her boss and the order of super-heroes.

Despite stopping the Sinister Sisters in their attempt to attack the twin cities, the order reprimands her for failure to inform them about what she was doing. Now, she feels aggrieved at being unjustly jibbed.

This was an unusual take on the super-hero paradigm. But in the end, it was too predictable to be engaging.

Being a Giant in Men’s World” by Walter Dinjos

A Nigerian giant comes of age in this short fantasy. Not an exceptionally tall and lanky man, but rather he is a perfectly proportioned person who grows to eleven feet. But the people treat him like a monster and though he tries to appease them, nothing he does to fit in works.

Though the writing craft was good, the story offered little in the way of suspense or danger.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Love Potion Infusion” by Leah Cypess

In this short fantasy a witch creates a blog with a recipe for love potion cookies. She receives several posts from people trying her recipe. But sometimes, inducing someone to fall in love with you forever is not all that good.

This was a quick and pleasant tidbit of a story.

Reality Show” by Brian K. Lowe

Earth is a reality show for the rest of the galaxy in this SF short. Just as the networks cancel the show, an agent picks up the contract on Marty, a human from the planet.

Earth is dying and when Marty hears what the networks, and in particular this agent, did to maintain the ratings, he is less than happy.

The story had a good flow to it and gave some food for thought.

Jackbox” by Brian Trent

Trent’s SF short is about a soldier near the end of his tour of duty. Patrolling a stretch of desert, he is surprised by a dead body springing up, like a jack-in-the-box, and firing its pistol at him.

The dead soldier’s auto-suit has detected the patrolling soldier and gone into auto-defence mode. The gun clicks away on empty chambers. The soldier thinks about how lucky he is that the dead man’s gun is empty, even as he collapses into the sand.

Jackbox” was a quick and absorbing SF story that left the reader surprised.