Lyonesse is another magazine in the superversive tradition, which I mentioned in my review of Astounding Frontiers. Unlike Astounding Frontiers, Lyonesse has open submissions periods, so if you’ve written some superversive fiction, this could be a home for it.
There are two ways to read Lyonesse: you can subscribe and receive a story by email every week, or you can purchase collections of the stories as they’re released on Amazon.
Four Funerals and a Wedding by LJ Lamplighter. A story about a woman who can resurrect the dead. It took a turn I wasn’t expecting near the end.
The Dreaming Wounds by Anya Ow. This story, about a Chinese-American family that can see ghosts, held my attention, but I felt that the ending was a bit anticlimactic.
The Dragon’s Teeth by David Hallquist. A sergeant who’s about to retire lets his personality be downloaded into a super fighting-machine robot. Humans have tried using AIs to run the things, but the AIs always invent scary morals and ethics. The super-bots are buried in deep underground bunkers on a colony world, to be used as scorched-earth weapons if the human defense forces are defeated and the planet is occupied by the enemy.
There are still some “software” problems when the bots get deployed, as they know that their deployment means that their physical selves and their families have been killed. This particular bot gets captured, and the aliens are trying to suck some intel from his computer brain. He replaces their spaceship AI with a copy of himself and plays it cool, traveling around and copying himself onto other ships and space station he meets. The ultimate payback event isn’t depicted.
Zombie Jamboree by Declan Finn. A Zombie attack on NYC. Even if you’re bored with zombie fiction, I think you might find this story different enough to be of interest. Instead of mindless hordes of plague-infected zombies, NYC faces deliberately-created voodoo zombies, with the voodoo priest able to exercise control over them.
The Artifact by Dean Abbott. The atheist government of Earth has an ongoing archaeological dig on another planet. The technology of the (now extinct) alien species there advanced more quickly than human tech, and the party line says this is because the aliens weren’t held back by religion. The archaeologists discover evidence that the aliens did have religion, and the government can’t let that get out.
We Bury Our Own by Cheah Kai Wai. The Earth has been mostly covered in supernatural mist, and some angel-men go on a commando mission to stop a fallen angel-man who’s creating a city full of revenants. The story used far too many unnecessary made-up words.
Number 43 by Jonathan Ward. A steampunk/horror scenario where a mad scientist is integrating animal (including human) tissue with metal structures, and using brain implants to control his creations.
The Last Winter by AR Aston. An old man, who left his village during a harsh winter to die rather than eat his relatives’ food, runs across a group of slavers and their child captives.
Shini Tai by CL Werner. A samurai, a ninja, and a sumo wrestler walk into a bar. Just kidding. A samurai tries to protect a sumo challenger from a ninja assassin. The challenger is traveling to a competition whose outcome will have political and religious implications.
At first, I thought a few things were off about the Japanese setting, but I later learned that this story is set in the author’s fantasy world based on Japan. I wasn’t able to quickly locate any of his books in this setting (mainly because he has written a large number of Warhammer 40K novels, so there are a lot of titles to sift through), but I might be interested in reading some of them.
The Case of the Unicorn by Nora Mulligan. An old lady whose unicorn has been stolen hires a female PI who once had a unicorn as a child.
The Harsh Mistress by Mike Murphy. Two men are trapped in a house until they re-set all the clocks for daylight savings time.
St. Lucian’s Star by Dawn Witzke. A woman, who has the superpower of finding lost objects, goes to another planet to find something for the Catholic Church.
A Day Without the Horned Goddess by Kieran McKiel. A goddess decides she doesn’t want to hang around and protect a village any more. We don’t see the consequences to the village.
In Another Life by Morgon Newquist. A crazy woman goes back in time to force someone to marry her and give her the life she wanted.
Moonset by SD McPhail. Aliens deal with a human incursion.
Mile High Murder by Declan Finn. A passenger kills three terrorists on an airliner.
My opinion of the above stories is mixed. I enjoyed about half the stories (including two I’m considering nominating for best story of 2017), and I want to fold the other half into paper airplanes and send them flying far away so I never see them again. I’ll probably give the second Lyonesse collection a shot, and see how it breaks down.