Keeping in synch with my theme of ‘Discover’, when @uncannyMagazine asked for reviewers, I jumped in without thinking. The editor, Lynne, immediately sent me a soft copy of the magazine. I am so glad I decided to do this review. The magazine has been very different from what I normally read. The magazine has a set of short stories, non-fiction essays, poems and author interviews. It is also of the genre fantasy/YA and everything in between. It is also stories from and about the LGBTQ world.
I must admit, it was everything I never read. But thanks to this magazine, I promise to not shy away from similar content. I read some amazing short stories and poems. I wish I could write like them.
Let me start with the cover. It is simply magical. It is beautiful and attracts interest. The magazine tells me that it is done by award-winning cover artist John Picacio. It sets the tone for the magazine.
Bodies Stacked like Firewood by Sam J. Miller
The story is about Cyd who has committed suicide. Cyd was in love with the narrator. But, in the narrator’s own words, ‘Both locked our hearts up tight’. This simple statement tells the crux of the story. The words create vivid images. Cyd and his eccentricities are clearly brought out in the initial few words. He seemed to have a lot of friends or followers. The have created Cyd Cards in his memory which contain quotes said by Cyd. His parents think he is weird. Cyd wants his body to be burnt as he had a lifelong fascination for fire. His parents don’t seem to be aware of this and have the body sent for funeral preparations. No one understood Cyd like the narrator. I loved the way everything is told through the narrator’s eyes. He is also discovering many aspects of Cyd just like the reader. The story has a parallel layer comparing with The Great Gatsby. The writing is superb and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short story. I wanted to immediately tell the writer that I loved this story, and I did via twitter. All the artifacts have contact details of the authors.
Monster Girls don’t cry by A.Merc.Rustad :
Again a beautiful story with a great message. It talks about monster girls who have weird features like horns, wings, lips in their palms. They try to blend in with society by sawing off the horns which keep on growing, trimming the wings. It is a bloody activity and painful. The monster girl, Phoebe, is unable to understand what is wrong with her. Yet, she tries to blend in. Her sister Maria has more grotesque features which doesn’t help her to blend in and as a result stays locked in her home. It is a beautiful story when Phoebe finally realises that she need not blend in. It is an allegorical story with deep insights. Well told. There is also an interview with A. Merc Rustad in the end where she talks about this story. I am a fan now.
Goddess, Worm By Cassandra Khaw :
In this story, the author uses the SilkWorm which dies to create Silk which is so coveted by all. The worm is trying to win her case. She doesn’t want to transform. She just wants to be as she is, but the others who think they know better, do not agree. On the contrary, they tell her that she is being elevated as it means more silkworms to be raised. I loved the way this story is structured by putting points one, two, three. Sample this,
Author : Summerita Rhayne
Version : Kindle
Genre : Romance
Source : Amazon Kindle
Publisher : Self Published
Second Chance at Forever is a beautiful, mature love story with loads of romance and passion put in. It it was a Mills & Boon Romance, it would have surely been a red cover. This book took me back to my teenage years which was full of Mills & Boon Romance. Well, that was the only stuff available at affordable rates from the local bookstore. My mom did worry that I was reading too much of this stuff trying to imagine the story looking at the scandalous covers of the books.
Its been a long time since I read a Mills & Boon. I still have over a dozen of those which is in my TBR pile. It is like watching a Hindi movie. We know what the story will be. The hero and heroine will fight in the beginning. Then fall in love followed by a split. And finally, they will realize that despite all this, they still love each other. The movie will perhaps add a villain or two to keep it spicy. Continue reading
Author : Yaa Gyasi
Version : Kindle
Genre : Fiction, Historical Fiction
Source : NetGalley.com
Publisher : Penguin
Pages : 320
Homegoing is the debut novel of Yaa Gyasi. The book takes us through the lives of two half sisters Effia and Esi who are not aware of the other’s existence. Effia, the beauty, was born to Maame when she was a slave of Corjo, deep in the forests of Ghana belonging to the Fante tribe. At her birth, Maame sets the village on fire and runs away. Corjo saves the child and hands her over to one of his wives Baaba. Corjo fixes the marriage of Effia with the leader of their tribe. But Baaba has other plans. She plots and gets Effia married to the British Colonial James who owns the castle and runs the slave trade. Continue reading
Author : Nazia Sayeed & Sharmeen Hakim
Version : Paperback
Genre : Non-fiction, Investigation
Source : DDSReviews.in
Publisher : Penguin India
Pages : 227
The Mumbai 7/11 train bombings in 2006 were one of the deadliest terror attacks the city had seen after the 1993 blast. The attacks orchestrated by the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (the ISI) were aimed to cripple the city by attacking its lifeline – the local train. A series of seven blasts in a span of only six minutes rocked the city at seven railway stations, killing 189 and injuring over 700. Six Minutes of Terror is the first investigative book that will present a blow by blow account of the events that led to the terrorist attack, profile the people involved in the blasts as well as describe how the plot was unearthed by the police. Superbly researched, with painstaking detail, the book tries to delve into the minds of the home-grown terrorists who created unprecedented havoc and claimed innocent lives ten years after the horrifying attacks. Continue reading
Author : Gunjan Jain
Version : Hard copy
Genre : Biography, Inspiration
Source : Author
Author website : www.GunjanJain.com
Pages : 556
The book She Walks, She Leads is quite an attention grabber. With its red hardback cover with golden letters, it is instantly attractive. To add to that it is also bulky. I love bulky books. It does look good on the shelf. Continue reading