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Challenging Destiny #25: December 2007 by David M. Switzer
Edited by David M. Switzer
Cover Artist: Les Edwards
Review by Sam Tomaino
Crystalline Sphere Publishing  ISBN/ITEM#: CHALLDES25
Date: 25 January 2008

Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Challenging Destiny#25 has stories by Suzette Haden Elgin, C.A. Gardner, Arwen Spicer, James Wesley Rogers, Marcelle Dube, A.R. Morlan, and Matthew Sanborn Smith.

Challenging Destiny#25 is a fine issue of this electronic magazine. All the stories got a Very Good from me.

The issue's stories begin with "Death and Taxes" by Suzette Haden Elgin. Bill's wife dies in her sleep at age 88. He misses he terribly but he knows that if he reports her death, he will lose the RV he lives in and have to go somewhere else. So he stuffs her body in a freezer and heads for a place called Tall Pines, where he can find some refuge. What will he find when he gets there? C.A. Gardner's "Kelmscott Manor: In the Attics" begins with William Morris on his deathbed in 1896, talking to the woman he loved. He tells her that his fellow socialist H.G. Wells had invented a time machine and had asked him to use it to change the world for the better. He journeys to 1925 and discovers that he succeeded and had been happy. But then the world changes some more. In "God of Lemons" by Arwen Spicer, a young woman of our time finds herself in a strange place with three men who turn out to be Peter Abelard, Charles Darwin and T.E. Lawrence. Are they in Heaven or Hell or Purgatory or what? They set out to find some answers. James Wesley Rogers's "Expectations" takes place in a future in which genes have been modified to eliminate disease. One accidentally removes the ability to believe in God. Naturally, this causes all sorts of problems.

The next story is "Jhyoti" by Marcelle Dube. Jhyoti sen Chandar is a cadet in the Alliance Academy that trains people for service on starships. She is an empath and also of mixed caste in a society ruled by the high class. She wants to graduate but first finds herself investigating a murder. Her investigation takes her to the top of society and puts her very life at risk. A.R. Morlan's "Pretty Birds" is a poignant tale of Arna who lost her unborn child at 5 months into her pregnancy. The child literally disappeared from her womb, leaving no trace. In group therapy, she meets two other women who had experienced the same thing. All of them are seeing fleeting visions of their children. In one case, one leaves behind physical evidence. What is happening? Arna, eventually, finds out in my favorite story in this issue. Last of all, there's "The Key to the Yellow Kingdom" by Matthew Sanborn Smith. Carlos takes a journey to find the Wonderbox, that can grant any wish. He makes his wish and confronts the maker of the box. What he gets from his wish is something quite wonderful.

This is a fine magazine and worthy of your support. Go to its website to find out how to receive it.

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