Tor.com, March 2014
Reviewed by Jamie Lackey
In “Doppel” by Lindsay Smith, the agent codenamed Keystone has come to occupied France posing as a Nazi sympathizer to pass information back to England. But as the story goes on, he’s drawn into an evil that the Nazi’s cannot hope to control. The transmission format worked well, as did the ending. Overall, I found the story a little on the predictable side, but it was fun.
I had a bit of trouble getting into “Noma Girl” by Elizabeth Fama because of the character’s very dense voice. The story is full of hints of a bigger world, and the characterization is lovely, but the story itself felt thin. The population is divided between Smudges, who are allowed out at night, and Rays, who are allowed out during the day. Gigi meets Ciel, and even though she’s a rough-and-tumble member of the Nomas, a Smudge gang, and he’s not, the two connect and fall in love. But the distance between their homes keeps them apart until Ciel finds a way for her to stay out after their sunrise curfew.
Reza works as a driver and muscle for call girls, and she recently lost her lover, the titular Angie, on a job-gone-bad in “Anyway: Angie” by Daniel José Older. When Shelly, her current charge, screams inside a house in the same neighborhood where Angie vanished, Reza rushes inside to find the place empty. She follows a trail of bugs into a cave in the basement, and it leads into a scene of occult horror that felt out-of-place in the story. She manages to fight off men made of bugs, rescue the girl, and recover Angie’s body. The fight scenes dragged, and I wasn’t sure if bug monsters were normal in the setting or not, but I liked the character.
Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cat. Her Kickstarter-funded short story collection, One Revolution, is available on Amazon.com. Find her online at www.jamielackey.com.