Hey, I’ve finished reading Andromeda Spaceways #51 and I’ve got something to say about it (friends groan, “What a surprise”). While it’s probably not good form to comment on a mag that contains your own work, I’m going to anyway because there are some great stories in here.
But firstly, the bigger format – well, it didn’t seem all that big to me. It certainly didn’t take me long to read and when I got to the end I could’ve done with a couple of extra stories. I guess that's the mark of a good read. Secondly, the artwork by Kathleen Jennings perfectly complemented the writing. The consistency of the artwork from cover to interior was a feature and helped to tie the mag together, at least on a presentation level.
Now to what’s inside, I’m going to preface my list of fave stories by saying I have a strong bias against mushy, chick-lit dross, a moderate bias against hard SF vs. religion stories, and a mild aversion to anything that takes itself too seriously (see both of the above). That said, on hearing I had some new stories out in this issue, one of my friends recently commented, “Please God tell me they aren't from the perspective of an EMO like the last one.” So as you can see, I sometimes cross my own lines and I make no apologies for that.
My favourite piece had to be The Story of the Ship That Brought Us Here by Stephen Case. The imagery, the refusal to spoon feed, the weirdness, the juxtaposition of familiar and otherworld was just great. I didn’t get the ending at all, but you know what? I didn't care. I just didn't care.
I also loved Nessa 1944 by Ellen C. Glass. It was a bit more conventional, and I did kind of see how it would tie up beforehand, but I loved the old-style characterisation and the quasi-steampunk feel. When I began this story I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it – don’t ask me why. But I did enjoy it, a lot.
Other highlights for me were Following in Harlan’s Footsteps by Sandra M. Odell, The Birds, the Bees, and Thylacine by Thoraiya Dyer, Merchant's Run by Calie Voorhis, and A Mirror Darkly by Keith Stevenson (which is a bit odd because I didn’t want to like A Mirror Darkly. I didn’t want to like it at all…)
Anyway, all the stories had merit, and as I’ve already said, I have my own twisted bias. The Birds, the Bees, and Thylacine might have rated higher with me if I hadn’t wanted to write a haunting tale about a thylacine myself.
Damn you sloth! And damn you too daily life! I wish there were no such things. I wish there were no such things at all!