Selected Reviews

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ATL: STORIES FROM THE RETROFUTURE

Hilarious and Wonderful

By ElliottThomasStaude, author of Mourners, Abednego, Persistence

Jun 8, 2019: The thing which shall be called ATL from here on in (and sadly the meaning of that acronym presently cannot be brought to mind) is a wonderful alternate history story set in Atlanta. It bounces all over the place, from the ambiguously-sexed protagonist Morgan’s residence during a shakedown straight from a Coen brothers movie to an old church which is the lair of a robot hiding out like a celebrity in rehab. It’s apt in its adoption of the descriptive setting of the “retrofuture” – some advances which are surprising, [more . . .]

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INHERITORS

The next Worm? Oh, Indeedy.

By L Nimbus, author of The Minotaur Paladin

Jun 5, 2019: Let me make a few things clear. Inheritors will rip your heart out. Then it’ll make you come back for more. There’s nothing you can do about that. You have two choices: Leave, and miss out an amazing story, or soldier on through the grief for more. I picked the second option, obviously. Do I regret it? Just a little. But if I had to choose, I’d do it again. Because it was all worth it. This story pulls no punches, curbs none of it’s kicks. It’s dark and brutal, [more . . .]

 
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INEXORABLE CHAOS

Chaos, like change, can be both good and bad

By sunflowerofice, author of Technically Abroad

May 29, 2019: Alright so Inexorable Chaos is not bad, but at the same time there wasn’t anything there that really pulled me in.

Now that the one sentence review is done let me give a bit more specific with spoilers where I see fit to explain. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum though.

First off I only read to chapter nine so keep that in mind and of course this is to [more . . .]

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PYREBOUND

Doldrums, Horror, and the Odd Beautiful Thing

By jmassat, member

May 17, 2019: (note: this review covers Ch. 1-3!)

Pyrebound’s world captivates me. Just the first two paragraphsmade my mind buzz with possibility. Immediately after reading that, I skimmed the glossary, and . . . ugh . . . so many strange ideas. There’s an ever-expanding list of Kur’s grotesque creatures, who pour into Ki, where humans (and some other strange things) are native. But there are also the deep ties to fire that humans have—physical fires, spiritual fires, fires that live, that inhabit objects and people. A human settlement protected by [more . . .]

 
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GRAVEN

Genre Fusion Frenzy

By Thedude3445, author of Rainbow Destructor

May 11, 2019: Graven is nominally a superhero story, which I’ll admit was a turn-off for me at first. There are technically superheroes, and there is even a superhero team featured in the story. However, this is pretty much as far as you can get from superheroes and still be in the genre.

Really, it’s more of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, featuring a cast of broken, diverse characters forced to come together to fight a mysterious, world-ending threat. Graven is set in a world [more . . .]

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ENDLESS STARS

Draconian Days

By Sharkerbob, author of Graven

May 9, 2019: Endless Stars is an interesting take on a fantasy story as seen through the eyes of a dragon.

Snug has a great grasp on prose, lending the book a more literary feel than most serials. Likewise I really like seeing the story through the dragons perspective; the use of draconic body language is a nice touch to hammer home that the characters arent human while still giving them a realistic presence. It is also entertaining to see how they percieve other [more . . .]

 
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WAYFARING PRINCESS

If one have faith, it may be that he shall behold the gods

By Snuggle Squiggle, author of Endless Stars

May 6, 2019: Wayfaring Princess is Greek fantasy. It’s got a definite historical vibe — most evident in the dialogue, which feels stilted at first but once you’re used it, has an appreciable tinge of verisimilitude.

But I think the best genre descriptor for Wayfaring is one you don’t see discussed or tossed very often: epic.

There’s a sort of character design you see a lot in modern fiction, and it’s what most of the [more . . .]

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TECHNICALLY ABROAD

Many Curious Returns to the Scene

By ElliottThomasStaude, author of Mourners, Abednego, Persistence

May 2, 2019: Technically Abroad is technically rough, yet practically . . . something unexpectedly endearing. Hold onto that thought, we’ll pick it up again momentarily. It’s a fantasy work which has a number of syntactic and semantic blemishes: that is, spelling and grammar might benefit from a second run-over. Those blemishes kept me doubling back over sentences from time to time to reparse what I just read for comprehension. One instance: “Now I’m sure you know, but this an indication of promotion to be red yet.” The line is, in context, obviously a reference to the [more . . .]

 
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ORPHANS

More human interest, young grasshopper!

By theredsheep, author of Pyrebound

Apr 17, 2019: Orphans follows four adolescent students at a martial arts temple where they have lived their whole lives. The twist is that this temple specializes in psychic ability as well as kung fu—in fact, the psychic aspect predominates. Our foursome have to use their powers to find out why they’re there and why the temple seems to be gearing up for war.

The mental powers have multiple elaborate applications, as well as broader implications for the story’s society. All very good, what [more . . .]

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QUORIA

Quorias & Quoriaser

By tkjarrah, author of blacklight

Apr 15, 2019: Short Version – if you enjoy the experience of going ‘oh my god no you idiot don’t’ every few paragraphs, Quoria is for you. No, this is not sarcasm.

Long Version – Quoria is a fantasy detective/noir story about Colton McKinley, an ex-con and current PI, and his struggles to get by in the fantasy, 1900s-esque city of Quoria, vexed at every turn by suspicious police, shady clients, and most often, his own tendency to be kind of an idiot.

[more . . .]

 
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URBAN REVERIE

Strange, Beautiful, Fantastic

By ElliottThomasStaude, author of Mourners, Abednego, Persistence

Apr 14, 2019: Urban Reverie is a collection of delicious ingredients being cooked for a recipe both completely unknown and completely worthy of examination. The enigmatic Joaquin Saavedra has a few flaws in the storytelling department, grammatical or typographical for the most part, in addition to resorting to explaining certain magical apparatus as “it’s just not possible to understand!” a tad more often than advisable. However, the only other things which I’ve looked at and considered as potential defects constitute matters of taste; considering the collective taste of the work, which I find [more . . .]

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AFTER MOSES

A Wild Wild Solar System

By Hejin57, author of Music Masters

Apr 10, 2019: I will always give points to any story that immediately evokes a sense of specific imagery, and is simultaneously able to evoke a sense of tone that blends with said imagery perfectly.

After Moses fits the bill, presenting a futuristic space-western tale that is informed by the likes of Star Wars, Firefly and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It begins as your typical sci-fi western fare: a lone guacho named Matthew Cole goes [more . . .]

 

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