I Live the Warrior’s Life by Robert Russell. An engaging story with an abrupt mid-story ending. So, an engaging half of a story, I guess. Set in a post-apocalyptic America, where the apocalypse was caused by an Indian shaman unleashing spirits. The spirits don’t kill Amerindians.
This is Not When You Said That You Would Meet Me by Robert Dawson. A cryo-sleep story with nothing unusual about it.
Irena Pestrovich by Thomas Carpenter. A pretty good near-future sci-fi cop story, marred by the hyper-competent female lead, who (even though she may have been partially crippled?) effortlessly beats up the tough-guy cop, and then goes on to show up the nerdy/technical cop with her superior knowledge.
One Saffron Thread by Sarah Bartsch. Two orphan girls perform a magic ritual which shows them their future, or an alternate reality, or a possible future. The story would have made a nice intro to a full story, but doesn’t seem to have a point by itself.
Long Cold Wish by Laura DeHaan. A non-shoot-em-up western with a talking snake, a ghost, and a werewolf.
Provincial Affairs by Alter Reiss. A flintlock fantasy featuring two espionage agents.
The Business of Rats by Sandra Odell. A rat-catcher becomes the hunted.
The Memory of Worms by Karin Terebessy. A girl decides to cure her father’s Alzheimer’s by cutting off his head, so he can grow a new head that doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. Without explanation, this plan succeeds.
Catch of the Day by Kurt Hyatt. Two survivors of a spaceship crash are stranded on a small, rocky island where they fish for food. Then, some mermen start land-fishing for them. This sounds like a simple flip of the situation, and it is, but this story pulled me in to its situation much more than the magazine’s other stories did.
In case you missed my earlier announcement: 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.