A.J. Fitzwater, with whom I share issue 118 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, has the luscious, imaginative ‘Blood, Stone, Water’ full of creative food-based similes (my favorite kind): ‘Nhia favored Tau with a look as rich and thrilling to the senses as unpeeled koca-bean’. I love the way she describes women as virile, muscled, and strong, as well as how she describes older women: ‘The Ia-mother’s figure floated in Tau’s mind; her heavy breasts, striped by sun, time and nurturing, and her tattooed lips.’
Imagine my delight to find that she liked ‘The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate’ too, and has said so here, where she also reviews stories by Genevieve Valentine, Jake Kerr, Kali Wallace (‘No Portraits on the Sky‘), Ken Liu, and Matt Wallace from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Apex and PodCastle.
Carl V. Anderson at SF Signal reviewed the April issue of Clarkesworld and has many nice things to say about it, lauding the editors’ choices for ‘the kind of issue that could garner nearly hyperbolic praise’.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Two alien entities wage a surreal battle to save an alien world from absorption by powerful hegemony, Chicken Little’s prediction begins to come true in a forest world filled with useful spiders and human souls reincarnated in the detritus of suburban life mount a defense against avenging garden gnomes in this month’s original fiction.
PROS: Creative, non-standard science fiction/fantasy storytelling; mind-bending world-building; stories demand you read to the end as they do not forecast their conclusions.
I continue to be incredibly delighted in this excellent company, and grateful to Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace for giving ‘Annex’ a home.
There have been quite a few reviews for Clockwork Phoenix 4, too. One from Bonnie Shufflebeam at Short Story Review.
There were several moments when reading that I felt physically altered, only to realize that it was the story and not my body which was causing the queasy feeling in my gut.
That is not to say that these stories are not enjoyable; they are, in a discombobulating, shiver-inducing kind of way. And there were several of the tales which left me thinking on them long after I had finished reading.
From Lois Tilton at Locus.
Very happy to see a rare original anthology… The overall quality is high, although, unusually, the opening and closing stories are among the weakest. Several of the pieces are quite challenging. Readers will do well to pick up a copy.
Tangent Online has this to say.
This 4th volume of Clockwork Phoenix contains an excellent diversity of speculative fiction ranging from cold and hopeless to harsh but victorious and warm and fulfilling. It was a pleasure to read.
Finally, from Francesca Forest. (Francesca is our copy-editor – and she is good at what she does too – and discloses as much, but I daresay she’s not too biased!)
Clockwork Phoenix 4 is nearly out, and oh my goodness, the stories. There’s not a single bad one, and there are some amazing gems.
Editor Mike Allen has been really good about getting copies to reviewers’ hands. *_* Responses have been pretty positive, I think, and if that convinces you to buy a copy pre-orders can be made now through PayPal.