Reviewed by Cyd Athens
The old woman in Leslianne Wilder’s “Cliona’s Coat” reminisces through song and drink about the life she has lived and the adventures she has had since leaving her man. The circumstances of their relationship and her exodus are the meat of this short, surprising, and satisfying story which waits until just the right moment to reveal its speculative bona fides.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to them when they become obsolete, “Death Comes for the Microbot” by Aimee Picchi provides an answer. Bee, the microbot in question, is the subject of a lack of funding for AI-microbot projects, and therefore not worth repairing. Picchi addresses the subject of friendship with a distinctly non-human, yet totally relatable, touch.
“Star Box” by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks concerns an Old Man, a phoenix, and a young girl who wants to share with her sick sister the stars they used to look at together. When the young girl does an impossible thing by finding the Old Man and his titular Star Box, things take an interesting turn. This story captures not only the onset of an adventure, but also the journey.
Cyd Athens indulges a speculative fiction addiction from 45ø 29 30.65 N, 122ø 35 30.91 W. Comments on Cyd’s reviews are welcome at www.cydathens.net.