“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”
E.L. Doctorow

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Last week was another week of five stories arriving in my inbox from Daily Science Fiction! It must’ve been Ladies’ Week last week, because the five stories sent out were all female authors. As my reviews will mention, all of the stories were good, but I liked some better than others. It doesn’t deny the fact that these authors have talent, skill, and clearly a better understanding for what DSF is looking for because more than one of them has multiple stories published with Daily Science Fiction, lol.

Onto the reviews!

March 25, 2013
Heaven
by Janet Shell Anderson
I thought this story was interesting… Interesting in a good way. The voice of the main character/narrator made it easy to pinpoint that she was mentally unstable. The voice was a major factor for this piece, because without it, the story would have fallen flat. I thought the author executed that well. Basically what it’s about is every murderer, when they die, is sent to a distant planet called Kepler 22b. The main character resides there. There was a lack of connection between the main character and the murders she committed, but I think that’s intentional, and the author did a smart move making it that way. You can read Heaven here.

March 26, 2013
Mirror, Mirror
by Davyne DeSye
I liked this story a lot! First of all, the main character and narrator is a lieutenant who wants to be in the field, but instead he has directives to protect the children during a time of war. Not what he wanted, but he’s been locked in a vault with twenty-seven children for over a day as the fight with an invading alien race wages. Children being children, some emotionally retreat, others continue as if their situation is normal, and some ask questions about the location of the magic mirror. Even though this story has a sci-fi backdrop, I believe the true value comes from the lieutenant and his time spent with the children and trying to nurture them. Mrs. DeSye was inspired to write this story after witnessing a lieutenant interact with one of her children, and I don’t think she lost the sentiments at all by translating it into a story (which is no small task). She does a great job at showing the main character out of his element by sharing his thoughts such as “I find myself wondering if all two-year-olds look as cherubic.” Witnessing how he handles the job given to him made for a nice read. You can read Mirror, Mirror here.

March 27, 2013
Sweet Justice
by Melissa Mead (her blog)
Another Twisted Fairy Tale by Melissa Mead! I have to say, her imagination to alter fairy tales we know and enjoy is exquisite. Quite the imagination. And it works!!! She should get a job working on the Once Upon a Time scripts; I think she’d fit right in! This story focuses on Hansel & Gretel. You should check it out. Read Sweet Justice here.

March 28, 2013
Soft
by Cat Rambo (her website)
I thought this story was okay. I liked the punch ending the best, but everything leading up to that was just humdrum and, quite frankly, setting the stage for the ending. Bjorn was chosen to provide context to an alien ambassador named Felfur, revealing to him why humans do certain things. Bjorn wishes to go down in the history books, wanting to be part of something big. And by the end of the story, he definitely does! Haha. With that said, the story was written very soundly. My personal preference is to have more characterization than what this story provided though. You can read Soft here.

March 29, 2013
Rubies and Tangled Webs
by Nicky Drayden (her website)
This story is by far the best one of the week to me! The creativity and the imagination soared. There were some ethical and morality issues the character did that did not sit well with me (he would ACTUALLY bet that?) but having a strong reaction like that shows how invested I was in the story and how well-developed the character was…. I suppose you’d like an idea of what the story is about, huh? Well, there’s a man named Jared who has a friend (term used loosely) named Anthony. Anthony has the ability to take certain memories from people and implant them into someone else — what someone had for breakfast, the memory of a first kiss… Whatever. Anything. And he can take it at will, but he likes to ask… or more accurately, bet. And during a poker game, let’s just say that the stakes definitely get high. The writing, the description, the character’s motivation, the twists in this story… Nicky, phenomenal job! You can read Rubies and Tangled Webs here.

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