News From Luna Station: All Is Strange and Mostly Dangerous

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38077-coverIf you read Luna Station Quarterly Issue 17, try not to let your courage falter the next time you see a supermodel. They can smell fear. In “The Woodsman,” my favorite piece in Issue 17, author Jan Stinchcomb layers on the homicides and reveals what it takes to be a dark-souled “beauty.” Suffice it to say you should steer clear of the forest.

The talents of female speculative fiction writers are on display throughout this issue of Luna Station Quarterly, which includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, humor and fairy tales with evil at their core. Although the journal only accepts work by female authors, stories are told from perspectives as varied as those of men, women, children and a sheepdog.

“Mission Critical” by Deborah Bailey is my favorite science fiction piece. A long-duration spaceflight crew must decide who’ll be the next to die in order to feed the thing in the ship’s hold. The fate of humanity is at stake. The premise is great. The execution, so to speak, is perfectly done.

Many of this issue’s stories hold a touch of horror, but “The Good Mother” by l.a. james is the creepiest. A woman at a funeral accidentally leaves with a ghost child who presses against her leg. Whose child is this? Why does it latch onto the woman? How does she rid herself of it? Does she want to? I grew up around ghost stories. This one gives me the willies.

Luna Station Quarterly characters seem especially fond of being reborn. A soul pulled from the animasphere brings the body of a previously-comatose person to life. A human-legged mermaid dies and gets her tail back. A phoenix in the flock exists in a form undetectable even to herself.

I liked every one of the fourteen stories in this issue. Some of these creations I’ll remember for a long time.

Luna Station Quarterly is available DRM-free from Weightless Books in single issues or as a 12-month subscription.

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