Selected Reviews

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THE FORGOTTEN

‘The Forgotten’ may be forgettable.

By Wildbow, author of Pact

Sep 11, 2014: The Forgotten introduces us to a world on the brink of interstellar war. The inhabitants of Cygnus face the prospect of a conflict with Earth, which they deviated from a long, long time ago.

My big issue with the series is that the underpinnings just aren’t there. The world makes sense, yes, but that’s because it’s very, very close to what we’re used to. The speech is the same, the colloquialisms are the same, the cultural norms are very similar. In [more . . .]

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STARWALKER

A different kind of space opera

By SnowyMystic, member

Sep 9, 2014: It isn’t so uncommon to read or watch hard sci-fi with AI as supporting characters. Starwalker however, takes an AI as main character and runs with it.

Starwalker isn’t content with just that unexpected action, it is not a story that just rests on that one premise. The story being told through ships logs is refreshing to me, though that perhaps is more due to me not having read much fiction in that format.

[more . . .]

 
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CASTLE TERRIBEL

Archive panic

By Tab, author of Kirchack Academy

Sep 9, 2014: A little over a year ago I lazily started reading Castle Terrible (and a few other stories) from the middle instead of the beginning. It didn’t take long for me to abandon it because I didn’t understand the characters and the history.

I found the story again a few weeks ago and decided to read it properly. I have not been disappointed. The story occurs in an alternate earth but the author has cleverly created a few races and cultures that [more . . .]

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PURE FICTION

Awesome!

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Aug 31, 2014: If you’re a flash-fiction fan and you haven’t yet checked out any of the Pure Fiction pieces on her site, you should drop what you’re doing and head over there immediately to get lost, for at least a few minutes apiece, in the lives of others.

Kathleen Maher does a fabulous job of giving you a taste of many different worlds, from many different points of view. You can read about young and old people, the innocent and criminals, and even [more . . .]

 
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WITH DRAWN

An adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome, discovers his drawings can come to life.

By millyreads, member

Aug 22, 2014: With Drawn is a story about Jacob Grist, an adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome, who discovers his drawings can come to life and he uses his artwork to protect him from his tormentors. As a teacher that works with students with Asperger’s Syndrome, I find this story very interesting. I found the narration jarring at first, but then I realized that the narrator either has Asperger’s and is working the idioms and situations out in his or her own mind, or that the narrator is telling the story as if explaining [more . . .]

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TWISTED COGS

An Exquisite Fantasy AU

By E_Foster, author of Cages

Aug 12, 2014: Twisted Cogs tells the story of Elena, a gifted artist who travels from her small town into the city in hopes of being apprenticed to the best artisan in the city. However, she finds that realizing her dreams might not be as easy as she initially imagined. In order to achieve her goal of artistic success, Elena must learn navigate a world that presents her with questionable alliances, dubious friendships, and vicious enemies.

By building an intricate world, the author elevates [more . . .]

 
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GOODFAE

He’s Gonna Give You an Offer You Can’t Refuse

By Maddirose, author of Twisted Cogs

Aug 4, 2014: Goodfae can be summed up in two simple words: “Magical Gangsters”. Every once in awhile I stumble across a hybrid that I never knew I needed, and nowhere is this phenomenon more striking than this serial. At first glance one wouldn’t think the gritty Tommy-gun style mobster story set in prohibition America would mesh well with your typical fantasy work of vampires, fairies, mediums and ghosts. Once the story picks up however, the result of the mashup is a charming new spin on both genre, while not giving up the [more . . .]

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WATCHMIRROR

Magical Oppression is the Best Oppression

By Maddirose, author of Twisted Cogs

Aug 4, 2014: Watchmirror is a strange beast, hard to define in terms of genre. On the one hand it has definite chords of dystopian fantasy that run deep throughout the piece, but on the other it strikes me as very political-thriller with dashes of magic and action. It’s a very complex piece to describe, which is perhaps fitting for its very complex world.

The basic story is laid out so carefully and precisely that I hesitate to describe it, but it centers around [more . . .]

 
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SUPER

Ninja Training Gone Wrong

By Syphax, author of Stone Burners

Aug 2, 2014: This is a story that doesn’t seem quite committed to a genre. This is mainly devoted to victim empowerment, and that’s fine, though not necessarily my cup of tea. But wait! There are subtly super powered people (as the name would imply) in this universe, including Lex, our martial artist protagonist. Now things are interesting. But wait! There’s also this detective mystery thing that’s really at the forefront, not all that super heroics stuff. OK, that works too. But wait! Forget those last two things. All the characters are now [more . . .]

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DEGENERATION

Original-ish zombie premise, awkward writing

By Wildbow, author of Pact

Aug 2, 2014: Degeneration is a story about a human experiment in the midst of a zombie epidemic. I’m afraid I didn’t finish it, only getting to about the end of 2012/start of 2013 in the writing. I do feel equipped to make a review, however.

When I wrote my review for Diary of a Runner, I said it was a damn shame that authors cling to the ‘Walking Dead’ formula of zombie outbreaks. The idea recurs – effectively random groups of people trying [more . . .]

 
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CURVEBALL

Wow, this is freaking awesome!

By alex5927, author of The Men in the Black Coats

Jul 26, 2014: This review is based off of the first twelve issues. I’ll admit, when I started Curveball, expectations were a bit low. I never was one for books whose titles could be construed as comedic even though they aren’t supposed to be (I’m kinda superficial). However, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it is. It reminded me of Watchmen a little bit, but not enough for me to call it a Hunger Games/Battle Royale situation. Talking about the plot without giving any spoilers is going to be difficult, so I’ll [more . . .]

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THE SOLSTICE WAR

No title

By JMK Magnum, member

Jul 20, 2014: The Solstice War is extremely interesting, and explores a lot of fascinating territory that I’ve found underserved by other authors. Basically it’s a fantasy-infused retelling of World War II, with a particular focus on the Soviet perspective and those of queer persons and persons of color. There’s a lot of really great well-grounded action sequences that show the scope and diversity of this massive conflict, and extremely moving characterization. The author has regularly updated Solstice War with two chapters per month of 10-15,000 words each, along with a few supplemental [more . . .]