, January 2023, January 2023

“Time: Marked and Mended” by Carrie Vaughn

“How to Cook and Eat the Rich” by Sunyi Dean

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

There are two entertaining first publication stories at for January.

“Time: Marked and Mended” by Carrie Vaughn

In this SF novelette, Graff of the Visigoth has a malfunction while waiting in a space station. Graff is a member of the semi-human guardians of human history. As such, discovering he has a three-hour gap in his memory is a disaster that sends him into convulsions.

Tez, another member of Graff’s ‘people’ takes him back to their secretive home planet for evaluation. Ransom, the captain of the Visigoth, joins them with the raw data to fill in those missing three hours. Graff’s home planet doesn’t allow visitors, so this could be a one-way trip for Graff and Ransom.

On the home planet, they meet a data analytor who tries to fill in the three hours. What they find changes the entire view of the universe for this race of guardians.

Vaughn’s story is another in a series of Visigoth tales involving Graff and Ransom. It was fast-paced and entertaining, though its ending didn’t match in intensity what the opening promised.

“How to Cook and Eat the Rich” by Sunyi Dean

The Cold Shoulder Club is an elite food club in this fiendish SF story. Food of all types is in short supply after several livestock pandemics. So the club offers human meat at exorbitant prices.

Only the rich can afford the membership and monthly charges. And after six months, they can pay another fee to join a members-only cannibal dinner with the rarest wine. Only then do they discover a Ponzi scheme element to the membership.

This nicely crafted story had a truly diabolical element to it.

You can follow Kevin P Hallett’s writing on There are links there to join his mailing list for a weekly newsletter on the recent release of his second novel, The Fifth Kingdom.