Lightspeed #28, September 2012

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Lightspeed #28, September 2012

“My Wife Hates Time Travel” by Adam-Troy Castro
“Monsters, Finders, Shifters” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“The Seven Samovars” by Peter Sursi
“Sun Dogs” by Brooke Bolander

Reviewed by Bob Blough

Lightspeed has a solid if unglamorous issue this September. All the stories are enjoyable but ultimately not too memorable.

“My Wife Hates Time Travel” by Adam-Troy Castro is an enjoyable romp with a time travel twist. It seems that the narrator or his wife is the future inventor of time travel. This fact shatters the life that they have led as future versions of the husband and the wife keep interrupting.  They are trying to keep them from doing something that will hurt the future timelines that the visitors come from. This is a well written comedy and revolves around a love relationship that is sorely tested. Fun and interesting, this tale is well worth your attention.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman‘s “Monsters, Finders, Shifters” concerns a land where there are many mutant “monsters” that are discovered by the “finders” and changed into normality (if possible) by the “shifters.” It follows Bert, a young man born of two finders who realizes that he contains the power to find and shift. It is a very interesting background and I found myself really liking the protagonist, but then it ends abruptly without any explanation or conclusion. I cannot suggest it to you as a stand alone story. Perhaps when she writes more of Bert’s story and his world it will make sense.

I really liked Peter Sursi’s “The Seven Samovars.” It’s a delightful tale of the covert magical side of a modern day coffee shop. It concerns a girl who applies for a job at what appears to be a normal coffee shop. She is disabused of that fact by the owner, Erzabet, very early in the story.  It is quite a soufflé of a tale that sustains its whimsy to the end. Mr. Sursi pulls off a light touch well.

Brooke Bolander creates a fine story with “Sun Dogs.” It is a story of a possible outcome of Laika – the dog sent into orbit by the Soviets in the Sputnik 2 spacecraft on November 3, 1957. She melds this with the SF idea that sun dogs are real dogs that live in the sun and how they might feel about Laika’s treatment at the hand of scientists. It is a fun idea that is just the right length for such a story. While not as moving and well written as Connie Willis’ “Daisy, in the Sun” (which this story brings to mind) it has charms that bespeak a good solid beginning for this author.