Penumbra #34, July 2014

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Penumbra #34, July 2014

Interstellar Tech Support” by Sarina Dorie
Voices in the Black” by Jeff Stehman
“Mr. Dash Saves the World” by Ginnie Koch

Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia

This issue’s theme is “hyperspeed.”

In the SF comedy “Interstellar Tech Support” by Sarina Dorie, space pilot Jonah Hubbard discovers the importance of paying for good tech support when he places an emergency call to Rom Colonies, Inc. Any reader who has ever had to call an insurance company, or, goodness forbid, the government, will find the dark humor in Jonah’s plight.

Jeff Stehman‘s “Voices in the Black” brings us into the head of a schizophrenic astronaut tasked with manning a space probe alone. Or, perhaps he is not alone. Stehman’s SF/H flash leaves a well-crafted impression with an economy of words.

“Mr. Dash Saves the World” by Ginnie Koch is an SF conspiracy story where preteen Lizzie discovers that people she thought she knew well are in fact untrustworthy. Due in part to the middlegrade first person perspective, Lizzie’s trials are predictable, including her confrontation with those who have betrayed her.

Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.