Web Fiction Reviews by Lauren Colie
Three tales of love (and hate) fill this week’s shelf in the cabinet. Festive, no? Maria Dahvana Headley and Malon Edwards ask us to confront our monsters, while Halli Villegas wonders if we are the monsters. Dive in to explore the weird reefs of passion—whether you bring bug spray or a machete is up to you.
A Review of “And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea,” by Maria Dahvana Headley at Lightspeed Magazine
“I am not afraid of monsters. I’ve never been afraid of monsters. I’m afraid of love. Love is offering your body up to some god other than the one you were taught to worship…”
With Valentine’s Day in the rearview, the timing is perfect for a tale of love that’s left a bad taste. This watery spirit can’t manage to flow away from her troubles. That is, until they rise from the depths and drown her in love.
Whimsical, deep and satisfying, this twisted take on romance flowed elegantly and left me delighted. Secrets build and reveal themselves slowly, leaving you with a surprising yet fitting conclusion. Check this one out for your fantastic creatures fix.
Read it HERE
A Review of “Fishfly Season,” by Halli Villegas at Nightmare Magazine
“There was no blood on their chins now, and the strange shake of their heads to fix their dangling jaws had stopped. One of the women looked familiar to Marisol but the woman kept looking away, frustrating Marisol with her inability to place her.What am I doing spying here? Maybe I am asleep…”
Fish-out-of-water Marisol does not like her new neighborhood. Something is off about Neil’s hometown and the old-money people and the plague of fishflies swarming the lake—and what’s up with those blue beads?
This one challenges the real with the unreal and conflates the two in a waking dream. Share Marisol’s suspicion of the sinister creepy crawlies that surround her…plus the ever-present fishflies. Give this one a try when you have a moment to think about what you’re seeing—or aren’t.
Read it HERE
A Review of “The Half-Dark Promise,” by Malon Edwards at Shimmer
“The half dark presses against all sides of my chrysalis, sending tentacles over its surface. I know what it’s trying to do. It’s looking for weak spots. I think it won’t find any, but then, my chrysalis starts to shiver and creak…”
This girl knows how to fly with grace but deliver a harsh sting—something she’ll need to make it through the half-dark twilight. Her fighter’s spirit is enough to cocoon herself from the cruelties of her classmates, but will it help her steam-clock heart keep beating?
Edwards builds a new world with new rules in artfully few words. Clips of action piece together a timeline of how to cope with the tentacles that writhe in the dark. Tackle this one when you’re feeling combative, when the dark is closing in and you just want to demand the monsters Tell It Like It Is.