Selected Reviews

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THE SLUSH PILE

Too good for a slush pile!

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Jan 22, 2017: The Slush Pile is a collection of about 35 short stories, most science fiction or futuristic, with a fair sprinkling of horror, urban fantasy, and real life. It’s not always clear which of these a story is going to be when you start reading it, so I recommend you pick randomly from the table of contents rather than "Browse by Genre" to avoid spoilers!

These are the best kind of short stories, because they drop you right into an interesting scene [more . . .]

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AFTER Z-DAY

Worth a Read

By Lyn Thorne-Alder, author of Jumping Rings

Jan 9, 2017: I read this story – what there is of it so far – in one sitting, and found it engrossing, the kind of story that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

I have so many questions, which means I’ll come back to it over and over again, hoping my questions get answers – who is Bishop? What is going on?

This story builds suspense well. I am not always a [more . . .]

 
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THE FIFTH DEFIANCE

Rise Up

By gloomybear86, author of For Riches or More

Jan 5, 2017: The Fifth Defiance accomplishes within its first handful of chapters a feat that often requires entire arcs, if not longer: it made me want to learn more about the universe its author created. Who is Prevailer and what power allows her to subjugate the planet? What are the Troubleshooters? What’s a Sigil and why do Ultrahumans wear them?

These questions get answered throughout the course of the story and are replaced, naturally, by new ones. I won’t spoil any of the [more . . .]

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ONCE GIANTS

Once Giants Volume 1 – The Size Queen Chapters 1 – 5

By Joe Berridge Beale, author of Gamer Girl

Jan 2, 2017: Once Giants follows the story of an ex wrestler turned nanorg criminal enforcer called Size Queen as she tries to survive on the mean streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first volume comes off as an action crime adventure, with Size Queen getting tangled up in the violent power struggles, double crosses, and conspiracies of the Brazilian underworld.

The good points:

The writing is minimalistic in terms of the description and very [more . . .]

 
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ONCE GIANTS

Once Giants, Fine serial

By Walter, author of The Fifth Defiance

Dec 29, 2016: I found this story to be very much a mixed bag. There are good things and bad things about this one.

Salt first:

The background will fall apart if you look at it too long. Like, given the technical advances that have taken place in order to accept the premise (X years ago there was the level of nanotech necessary to create a giant fighting league) the rest of the world shouldn’t [more . . .]

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CITY OF ANGLES

Solid wordbuilding, characters could be better.

By Bequail, author of The Scapegoats

Dec 27, 2016: First off it should be known that I’ve only read the first of three parts of this work, not including the first bonus stories, so this review will probably not be as thorough as the work deserves. I do intend to finish it however, just at a later time.

I’ve always been interested in stories in which the character is flung into new settings and has to adjust accordingly. Their learning of the world mirrors that of the reader, so there’s [more . . .]

 
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ONCE GIANTS

Fun 80s romp

By TanaNari, author of Price

Dec 27, 2016: Everything about this story right down to the cover art screams that it’s a love story to the flamboyancy of 80’s action storytelling. If that’s a thing you as a reader enjoy, then I recommend this story without hesitation. Go read it right now, you need not go any further into this review.

For those who aren’t big on the 80s or its stylistic choices? Well, that’s where things get more complicated.

[more . . .]

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GAMER GIRL

For Anime Fanfic Fans

By Team Contract, author of Once Giants

Dec 27, 2016: Gamer Girl is the story of two friends with superpowers aspiring to be superheroes in a world where superheroes exist, but in a parody like version of a typical superhero world. The main premise is that Gamer Girl draws her powers from video games which leads to numerous video game references, which if you know, should enhance the writing a bit. They are also both screw ups and goofballs, which lead to the comedy angle.

While the webfiction is billed as [more . . .]

 
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THE ARCHIVE OF UNUSUAL EVENTS

Weird, complicated, and amazing.

By alex5927, author of Umbra: Unsanctimonious

Dec 18, 2016: The Archive of Unusual Things is an interesting read. The ideas put forth are reminiscent of a worldwide Night Vale, and the eclectic nature of the pseudo-news articles are extremely immersive, much more so than some people would be able to make it. Each article is about something different, and each thing is even weirder than the last. One of the first entries on the site is about the “Smithfield Snail Man,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The deadpan voice that permeates each article in the archive is [more . . .]

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HOW TO AVOID DEATH ON A DAILY BASIS

The Cynic’s Progress

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Dec 14, 2016: Sometimes, you just feel like reading something light and fun. This fits the bill.

We have a grouchy, cynical unreliable narrator, who is a great source of sardonic humour. He’s not as useless as he thinks he is, as in his quest to survive he finds himself becoming the reluctant leader of a group of misfits, who ironically bring out the best in each other. Not only do they survive, they bring themselves to the attention of the powers that be [more . . .]

 
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ENTIRELY PRESENTING YOU

Teen girl trying to comes to terms with monstrosity, not awful not great.

By Is_Generally_Hostile, author of The Comatose Girl

Nov 30, 2016: This is a review swap.

The series is at eight parts so far, ongoing, and says it updates weekly. Each post felt a little bit longer than average to me – I just double checked the first post, it comes in at 4100 words. So, decent chunks of text here, larger than I’d personally like at once, but not a huge issue.

The story centers around an asian teenage girl going to [more . . .]

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ANATHEMA

Lots of good, but I am mixed

By CorpseMoney, member

Nov 30, 2016: As the title says I am mixed on Anathema, I’m mid way through the 13th volume/chapter?

Overall I like the setting, I like the characters. I like the writing, it has a quality about it that is nearly everything I like in a story. But other parts are personally cringe worthy.

Most of all Overdrive/Peter his character I am so unsure of, and I believe its mostly the writers fault. Idk if [more . . .]

 

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