THE FLUX takes place a couple years after the FLEX, and mostly centers around the same three characters. The magic (or ‘mancy) in the universe of these books is extremely personal–if you are obsessed enough with something, that obsession can bend the universe around you to suit your beliefs. But it comes at a cost–every time a ‘mancer changes the world with their ‘mancy, the universe pushes back against the change with flux. Flux is a load of bad luck proportional to the extremeness of your mancy.
Autumn snuck up faster than expected. Ushio and Tora is the only summer show that is continuing its run into the fall, but I’m not quite as gung-ho about it as I used to be, so if there is something good here, it could possibly displace it. Fafner: Exodus is also returning after its summer hiatus, and I’m more likely to keep watching that.
I selected eight shows to check out this season and these are my impressions based on their first episode as well as which ones I’m likely to come back to.
Strange Horizons is a freely available online speculative fiction zine that also publishes nonfiction and poetry. They publish a variety of styles of stories and have regularly attracted award nominations in recent years.
All of the stories and poetry in the zine are published in the podcast.
A plate, a plate, another plate burst upon the kitchen tile. This one broke into three large pieces and assorted ceramic crumbs. Giraffe closed her long-lashed eyes and prayed to her many makers. Why in the world would the people make one hard thing that was so likely to smash into a second hard thing?
“Another one?” Ms. Mtombe yelled. “Get out of my kitchen immediately!” She seemed to have been lurking near the kitchen entrance in anticipation. Giraffe didn’t bother to look. That unshining face made guest appearances in her night terrors. It was Tuesday, so it would be the zebra print dress, the long strand of Moroccan beads, and those slapping gold sandals.
Dystopian fiction has long found a home among the canonical halls of literature, but not until recent years have we seen so many offerings within this theme geared toward a young adult audience. Not only are there numerous young adult dystopian novels being written, but many of them don’t stop at just one novel but rather evolve into trilogies that then morph into three or more movies based on their various namesakes. One of the latest films in this phenomenon is The Scorch Trials, the second installment in The Maze Runner series.
Night Vale is a mysterious small town in the American Southwest, a place of monsters, alternate worlds, angels, and any other manner of goings-on. This book tells the tale of two women living in Night Vale. The first woman is Jackie Fierro, a nineteen-year old owner of the town’s pawn shop. She has been nineteen for a long time, as long as she can remember. One day she is visited by an utterly forgettable man in a tan jacket and carrying a deerskin briefcase who pawns a piece of paper that says “KING CITY”. Jackie can’t let the piece of paper go. Literally, she can’t make the paper leave her hand–she can drop it, burn it, soak it in water, and it will always be in her hand again entirely intact. What does the paper mean? What is it for? Who is the man in the tan jacket? The second woman is Diane Crayton, PTA treasurer and mother of shapeshifting son Josh. Lately Diane has been seeing Josh’s estranged father everywhere she goes, and at the same time Josh has started to voice interest in this man he’s never met. Diane and Jackie both go searching for answers, and cross paths with each other in their search.
Welcome to Night Vale (produced by Commonplace Books) is a fiction podcast, but quite different from any of the other fiction podcasts I listen. Most of the others publish short stories by different authors, where each new story has nothing to do with the others and is written by a different author. The easiest way I can describe the podcast is that it is a community radio show ala Prairie Home Companion, but one which takes place in a mysterious sleepy little town ala Stephen King or HP Lovecraft. If that sounds like something you’d like, you probably will! If you’re not sure what to think about it, download a few episodes for free and give it a try.
Old James McGrath was widely held to be the orneriest man on the frontier. They say he glared down a rattler so bad the critter’s great-great grandkids were afeared of venturing onto his land. They say that, once, a real big twister, one of them mean old suckers only found in the frontier lands, was sent packing straight back into its girlfriend’s arms by his bilious vitriol. They even say that tricky Coyote tried to swindle him out of his ranch, but ended up walking away missing thirty acres of prime real estate. It came as no surprise, then, that when Death came for McGrath in the shape of a late spring cold, he sent Old Boney packing with pant bottoms full of lead.
It occurs to me 20 days into a 26 day Kickstarter campaign for the Long List anthology that I have not actually mentioned the Kickstarter campaign on my own website. It has been a crazy 20 days and so much has been happening this particular thing has been postponed while I was working on other factors related to the campaign. Well, better late than never, and with 6 days left in the campaign there is still some time for those who are interested to back the project to get their rewards and to help push toward the couple of remaining stretch goals.
You can read more detailed information on the Kickstarter page, but I’ll give a brief rundown here.