(note that the linked item at Amazon has an incorrect cover image)
You may have noticed that my last few magazine reviews did not have intro stories. I’m trying to wrap up round one of my magazine quest (which, I’ve just realized, began in late 2015) by the end of the year. So, I’m skipping my intro stories for the rest of December’s reviews. [The crowd cheers] However, the intro stories will return in 2018 [The crowd lets out a disappointed “awww”] for round two, when I read additional issues of the top-performing magazines, and decide who the ultimate winner is.
Voracious by AC Spahn. An apocalypse created mutants that eat books. When they eat any copy of a particular book, all the other copies of it worldwide become illegible. The government has locked away single copies of books they want to preserve, and tried to burn all other copies. One of the mutants, who used to be a literature professor, finds a copy of one of these protected books, but refuses to eat it.
Medicine Man by Tim McDaniel. Old people are taking so many interacting medications that they are developing superpowers.
Sector 3 by Terrie Relf. Scientists exploring Europa begin losing team members to suicide, then to alien possession.
Five Little Piggies by David Kopaska-Merkel. A private eye investigates the case of a missing pig and the big bad wolf.
Urgent Ancient Wisdom. Greek gods threaten to punish humans for their environmental crimes.
The Prophet of Perim by Lee Zumpe. Long ago, a coastal town cut a deal with some crab/fish/octopus people that live in the nearby water. The town’s fishermen can fish without being attacked, but every 100 years, the crab/fish/octopus people get to come ashore and mate with the town’s women. The town has a muslim-style culture where the women have no rights.
A new ruler has conquered the town, and instead of keeping the deal going, he sends two warriors (one of them female) who kill a bunch of the crab/fish/octopus people and drive the rest off. Then they act like “OK, that’s solved.” The author even has the fishing fleet go out the next day, and nothing happens to them. Wow, problems are easy to solve!
Then, the two warriors grant rights to all the town’s women. Social problems are just as easy to solve as military and economic ones!