Speculative Fiction. Art. The In-between.

Short Story Markets Reviewed: August

Editor's note: 
It's easy to find reviews of larger markets—Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Asimov's, reviews of the big players in the short story field are surplus. We're taking a different approach, however. Instead of reviewing markets you're probably familiar with, Meryl Stenhouse reviews the ones you aren't. 

Red Sun Magazine

Issue 1, July - November 2016. Edited by Ben Richards.

Red Sun Magazine is clearly designed for print, and while it’s quite readable in PDF form, I definitely felt that I was missing out by not having the paper copy. Its lush and colourful and would look fantastic on glossy paper. Editor Ben Richards opens the magazine with a tone of excitement which is catching. There are two interviews with well-established authors, Margaret Weis and David Morrell. As well as reviews, the magazine contains four stories with a spotlight on contributor Erin Rudel. All four stories have a strong horror element which I didn’t expect. However it was a good read and I look forward to more from this magazine.

Red Sun Magazine, Issue 1

Red Sun Magazine, Issue 1

The Orion Incident
by David W. Amendola

The main character in the lead story, Andrea Ustinov, is both competent and bad-tempered, two things I approve of. Retrieved from prison to investigate the return of a starship thought lost, she and a rookie crew come face-to-face with the mystery of an empty ship and a lost crew. This is an action piece and quite enjoyable, with the body count you expect from military sci-fi.

Taste the New Drug
by Rhoades Brazos
Recommended Read

Bennie and his team are criminals turned enforcers, hired by the authorities to clean up less desirable elements of the city. Bennie thinks he can’t get any lower than his current rung, but some hideously evolved beetles show him just how wrong he is. This near future cyberpunk (beetle punk?) Is gripping from start to finish.

Star Jelly
by Brenda Kezar

Anna is on leave from her teaching job and desperate to get away from children. Unfortunately, one of them turns up on the beach outside her yard, excited about the fall of purple star jellies that happened the night before. This story has shades of 70s science-fiction horror, including extra-terrestrial organisms, small US towns, and a large body count.

Paper Cut
by Aeryn Rudel

Jimmy, a former ranger now working for the underworld, upsets a yakuza boss, who retaliates in an unusual and deadly manner. This is the only story in the magazine with a magical element, but otherwise it fits quite well with the military horror theme.