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Short Take: “Breaking the Habit,” Yolanda Sfetsos

Pros: Good monster story Cons: Lack of chemistry Rating: 4 out of 5 In Yolanda Sfetsos’s short story (novella?) Breaking The Habit (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 27), Cisco and Isla just got married. Unfortunately, while the two have planned on

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Review: “This Is How You Lose the Time War,” Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Pros: Stunning! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone bring us the gorgeous novella (short novel?), This Is How You Lose the Time War. Red is an elite time-traveling agent working for the Agency. Blue

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Short Take: “The Long Sleep,” William Meikle

Pros: Delightful short mystery Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Mostly I’ve read William Meikle’s creature-features and cosmic horrors. This time I decided to read one of his Sherlock Holmes tales: The Long Sleep: A Weird Sherlock Holmes Adventure.

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Review: “Minor Mage,” T. Kingfisher

Pros: Funny, poignant, and engaging! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 T. Kingfisher writes marvelous fantasy stories with a fairy-tale feel to them. In the novella Minor Mage, twelve-year-old Oliver is a very minor mage indeed. He only knows

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Review: “Skin Deep Magic,” Craig Laurance Gidney

Pros: Beautiful, magical stories! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Craig Laurance Gidney’s Skin Deep Magic: Short Fiction is a most excellent collection of magical short stories centered around, primarily, black women. Content note for slurs, suicide, and brief

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Review: “Without Condition,” Sonora Taylor

Pros: Fascinating! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Sonora Taylor’s Without Condition introduces us to a 22-year-old serial killer named Cara. When she gets gradually spun up over the voices from her past (largely classmates whispering about her), she

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Review: “The Singularity Trap,” Dennis E. Taylor

Pros: Interesting story and characters; intriguing worldbuilding Cons: … Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Dennis E. Taylor’s The Singularity Trap is an intriguing and creative take on the alien first contact story. Ivan Pritchard has signed onto the Mad Astra,

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Review: “Stay Away,” Ike Hamill

Pros: Very intriguing setup; good characters Cons: Weird switch partway through Rating: 4 out of 5 Ike Hamill’s novel Stay Away has a setup that really drew me in. There’s a town in Maine that has a place people call

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Review: “The Exiled,” William Meikle

Pros: Original take on faerie abduction myths Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 William Meikle’s The Exiled is a creative mélange of horror, thriller, and a sort of quasi-urban fantasy. Police officer John Grainger is called to the scene

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Review: “Spectre,” Shiloh Walker

Pros: Hot, hot, hot! Cons: … Rating: 5 out of 5 Shiloh Walker’s character Spectre is a hard-hitting assassin-for-hire. Mob boss Tommy O’Halloran wants him to take a job, but when Spectre finds out the job is to kill the

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