Review: “Lost in the Archives” by E. Saxey

Release Date: May 2022
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

Stories as historical oddities, some set in parallel pasts, and others are excursions into the daunting near future, these are the tales written by E. Saxey. A wunderkind is stuck in a dysfunctional start-up which may be hastening the apocalypse; in a near-future university, the efforts to create a plagiarism algorithm undetectable by current software is only the beginning of trouble; widow learns that a body found bobbing in the water under the bridge on Rush Street has her face; a boy’s unobtainable love becomes obtainable through a weird dream-drug until he finds himself struggling to ditch the fantasy; a troubled Freud encounters three strange sisters at a cafe and discovers the one he desires only has eyes for a madman.

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Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown: So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

Release Date: March 29, 2022
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life–starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.

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Mini Review: “Boy at the Window” by Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Release Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Young Adult

Description

It all began with trying to fly. After jumping off the roof of his house in the middle of the night, Daniel Kim wakes up far from Neverland, his reprieve from the real world. Thrust into a mental health hospital and then into a brand-new high school, he struggles to hold onto reality while haunted by both his very-present past and his never-present parents. But when he joins Cranbrook Preparatory’s cross-country team, he starts to feel like he’s walking on his own two feet once again. He meets Jiwon Yoon–another cross-country runner, who may be the first person to join Daniel in his Neverland daydreams. Or maybe Jiwon is the one who will finally break Daniel free.

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Mini Review: “The Benefits of Eating White Folks” by Leslie T. Grover

Release Date: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Jaded Ibis Press, LLC
Genre: Historical Fiction

Description

The Sickness, a disease with unknown origins, is killing white children in the antebellum South, but Perpetua, a Black enslaved woman, is facing something much more devastating: Her daughter Meenie is missing. What she finds in her search for her child will change her life forever.

By fusing the past and present with the power of prose and poetry, Leslie T. Grover poignantly explores the ripple effect of history and the nature of love and family and the ties that bind.

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Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia

Release Date: December 1, 2021
Publisher: Megara Publishing Inc.
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead. 

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories and original illustrations that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

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Review: “Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth” edited by Isabela Oliveira & Jed Sabin

Release Date: March 3, 2022
Publisher: Speculatively Queer LLC
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

This collection of speculative short fiction is about all kinds of queer growth, from emerging and developing to flourishing and cultivating. Whether they’re tender sprouts just beginning to discover themselves or deeply-rooted leaders fiercely defending those they love, the people in these stories have this in common: you can’t tell them what to do. They grow as they please.

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