Electric Velocipede #15/16 – Winter 2008
Edited by John Klima
Cover Artist: T. Davidsohn
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 20 February 2009
Links: Electric Velocipede / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Electric Velocipede #15/16 is a beautifully put together issue. All the stories got a Very Good from me, but one was Exceptional. The table of contents show titles and authors in lower case, so I duplicated that above.
The issue begins with "Strains of the Lost Oktober" by Darren Speegle. In some distant future, a woman named Laila is not a ghost but a revenant, who transports groups of orphans in a mysterious haunting tale.
"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" by Michelle Muenzler is a short-short little chiller about a woman who puts on the ribbon of the title, but not for pleasant reasons.
Sheila Crosby's "Unreal Estate" is a nicely-done little piece featuring Colin, an estate agent who must evict a witch from a house and runs into a little trouble.
"The Oldest Man on Earth" by Patrick O'Leary is set in some distant future in which the titular character shows why he's been around for so long. This was an effective tale.
Catherine Dybiec Holm contributes a unique, fascinating story in "Detours", about a man who sees things in straight lines and how this affects his life.
"The Floating Order" by Erin Pringle is another chiller and a look into a truly diseased mind. This will unsettle you.
Claude Lalumière pays tribute to Jack Kirby and comic books in "Destroyer of Worlds". What would it be like if the characters of your favorite comic book appeared in your world? Lalumière tells us in one of my favorite stories in this issue.
"Partita for Continuo" by Michael Neal Morris is a sad but touching tale about facing the long goodbye to a loved one .
William Shunn "Timesink" is a cautionary tale about the effects of too much television. Can it effect us in some way that we do not anticipate? Shunn gives us something different to think about.
In "The Devil Wears Combat Boots", Leslie Claire Walker takes a look at what a man might do when he loses his wife and has access to an alternate dimension version of her. Walker does a good job exploring all the implications.
"Sallie's Price" by Terry Bramlett is a different little take on marital infidelity. "Season of the Long Now" by Robert J. Howe seems to take place in a modern world, but one on which pagan gods rule. A man's wife dies and he makes a deal with a goddess to be reunited with her. Howe has written a memorable little story on how that works out.
"The Tree Reader" by Timothy Mulcahy is about a man who can draw secrets from trees and helps a young boy. This was another well-written tale. "Trades" by Olivia V. Ambroglio features a young girl whose brothers have become geese in this interesting take on a classic fairy tale.
I am always happy to read another story from Aliette de Bodard and "The Dragon's Tears" features a young man named Huan Ho who must find a way to cure his mother from a deadly disease. This was a remarkable fantasy rich in invention and truly memorable. Since this is a 2008 story, I can add it to my 2008 Hugo short list.
In "A Plague of Banjos", Jayme Lynn Blaschke gives us a different and amusing look at Moses and Pharoah. Alastair Rennie's "A Doom of My Own" features a man who must play a desperate price for love. Jonathan Wood gives us a strange little piece with "Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle and it is just what it describes, but Wood has a very unique look at such a subject.
The last novelette in this issue is "Child of Scorn" by Corey Brown, in which a man is sent back in time to retrieve a fugitive but this proves trickier than anticipated. All in all, this was a nice little time-travel story.
Alex Dally Macfarlane gives us a lyrical little piece with alternating characters and brings them together effectively. Last there is "Sitting Round the Stewpot" by Patricia Russo, a unsettling story about a future society that is without much of what it needs.
Electric Velocipede features truly distinct stories and is well worth reading . Subscribe!