the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Mark Patrick Lynch’ Category

Bastion Magazine is a new monthly science fiction magazine. They’ve recently put out their second issue, and I was lucky enough to get a review copy.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would this be like one of those runs hot ‘n cold anthologies that gets returned to the library half read,  forcing me to mumble excuses while avoiding the editor? Would the quality of the stories be sub-par? New magazine, editor I don’t know a thing about…. you never know with these things.


Well, now I do know.  I should never have worried in the first place. The May issue of Bastion Magazine contains nine short stories (holy crap, nine? that’s practically an anthology right there!), most in the eight to ten page range, which fit my attention span perfectly.  Check out Bastion Magazine on their website, where you can read excerpts from both the inaugural  April issue and the current May issue. And stay tuned, because in a few days I’ll be publishing an interview with the Editor in Chief of the magazine, R. Leigh Hennig.  Oh, and the stories? Damn good for the most part. The further I read, the more impressed I was by the quality of the writing.

Bastion May_cover

Confession: did I love every single story? Nope. But take that with a grain of sand because I don’t love every story in every issue of Asimov’s either.  I’m still bowled over by the sheer quantity of stories in here.  As I usually do with magazine issues and short story collections, here are a few words on some of my favorites (and when I say favorites, I mean more than half the magazine).


Moving Past Legs by Jamie Lackey – Editor R. Leigh Hennig chose one helluva an opener, that’s for sure. Humanity has figured out how octopi think, we’ve built neural nets so people can “plug into” them. You can walk into any pet store, buy the set up and the young octopus, go home, plug in, and get a high off the experience. It’s completely legal, and employers aren’t supposed to fire people just for being octo owners, but they still do. The ethics of the entire situation are incredibly fuzzy. Jeremy loves his octopus, Legs, so he lets her go.  He even helps a movement that is working to stop pet stores from selling and breeding intelligent animals alongside kittens.   What happens in this story will burn a hole right through you.  Who are we to decide what Octopi and other intelligent creatures want? They aren’t going to want the same things we want, and they may never thank us for being uplifted, for lack of a better term.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.