Cabinet of Wonders, 2-6-15

Frans Francken (II), Kunstund Raritätenkammer (1636)

Frans Francken (II), Kunstund Raritätenkammer (1636)

Web Fiction Reviews by Lauren Colie

A little bit of the mythical, a little sci-fi and some straight-up dystopia: find all of this and more in the stories pulled for today’s cabinet. Two selections weave strange new worlds to test your imagination; the other challenges your understanding of our own. Short, digestible and enchantingly immersive, these stories will transport you elsewhere in an instant.

 

 

A Review of Of Blood and Brine, by Megan O’Keefe at Shimmer Magazine

 

A fitting name, to start a new life in a new city. Far away from the nameless Child who had blended a killer’s end…

Child is running out of time to blend her name and acquire a wrap to protect her skin. Soon, sun-sickness will take the fourteen-year-old. The prize offered by her mysterious, wealthy client will more than ensure her safety, if she can only bottle the scent of the sea before the full moon.

In O’Keefe’s whimsically-imagined world, smell tells all: name, rank, history. See the lengths to which Child will go to secure the means for her own Naming Ceremony. Cardamom and violet are a good start, and every good perfumer knows where to find the scent of iron…

Read it HERE

 

A Review of These Eyes Are Not My Own, by Jennifer Nestojko at Crossed Genres

 

Putting down the wine glass, Leah stared at her finger. The scar had always been hard to see, but it was easy for her to feel. It wasn’t there…

Leah isn’t herself. When she discovers Rachel, her doppelganger, in the basement lab of her girlfriend Sarah, she realizes Sarah doesn’t want her to be herself. Seeking a cure for Leah’s inability to walk, Sarah has built a series of replacements, including Rachel. Together, Leah and Rachel need to run before Sarah returns.

Relationships are all about bringing out the best in one another, but Sarah is determined to manufacture it. A little on the longer side, Nestojko’s work captures the crazy in seeking to fix what isn’t broken. Stop by Crossed Genres for this one, and check to make sure you’re still you when you return.

 

Read it HERE

 

A Review of And to the Republic, by Rachel Kolar at Crossed Genres

 

The point is, terrorists always have something amiss with their shrines. Always. If you don’t have a shrine, they’re going to think you’re a Mohammedan or a messianist, or some other kind of extremist ideologue, and they’re going to treat you like one. You’ll go to a prison camp…

Lavinia worships all the great gods, including Mercury, Washington, Jupiter and Lincoln. A responsible employee of the Republic, she gets advance warning for a random inspection of her sister’s shrine—which doesn’t exist. In an act of rebellion, Antonia has stepped even beyond the terrorist monotheists into the illegal realm of atheism.

In another home run from Crossed Genres, Rachel Kolar brings to life a polytheistic dystopia where ignoring worship is ignoring the law. This reimagined state excites and intrigues in a manner reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Can Lavinia convince her sister to stop being childish and play nice for the centurions before it’s too late?

 

Read it HERE

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