Nonlocal Science Fiction, Issue #1 by Daniel J. Dombrowski (ed.)

Nonlocal Science Fiction, Issue #1 by Daniel J. Dombrowski (ed.)Taking as his guide that the best short stories are those that focus on a single idea, Dombrowski has gathered both hard sci-fi and softer, more speculative fiction, from new and independent authors. This choice of focus rather than style or subject will make the magazine a good source of fresh authors for science-fiction fans of all flavours.

This issue contains eight short stories and the first chapters of two serials:

  • ‘Delivery to Venus’ by Robert Paul Blumenstein: After Earth is rendered uninhabitable, the survivors place themselves in suspended animation and launch themselves into the darkness in the hopes someone will find them. But before he can join them, Captain Fortune must deliver one final package.

  • ‘Marigold’s Memory’ by Reva Russell: Storage chips, implanted in childhood, have replaced the human memory, making overcoming a bad experience as simple as deleting a file. Except Marigold’s chip won’t forget.

  • ‘In The Days Of Still Pictures’ by H. C. Turk: In a Wild West slightly different from our own, a travelling salesman arrives with cameras that eclipse anything the town photographer can offer. And then starts giving them away.

  • ‘Mazep-fal’ by Daniel J. Dombrowski: When the Bellantani pass the blush of youth, they make a pilgrimage, returning reinvigorated but with no memory of their life before. Only Ephed, the only man born in tens of thousands of years, is prevented from going on the journey. After nearly a hundred years as first a miracle then a failure, he is finally granted permission.

  • ‘Us and Everybody Else’ by Valery Amborski: An office worker dreams of the moment he can head home to the VR suite in his basement.

  • ‘Shoot the Devil’ by Nicholas C. Rossis: a young Jew travels back in time to 1930’s Germany. But are training and the hollow hatred of an ancestral enemy enough to overcome the obstacles he will face?

  • ‘Catalyst’ by Aaron Hamilton: Cribbs has been rescued from a criminal by the criminal’s mistress. Pursued by both the criminal and the government for the jewel she stole, Cribbs struggles to understand what his rescuer wants and why the jewel is vital to everyone’s plans.

  • ‘The Assistant Assistant Port Keeper’ by Jim Rudnick: Assistant Assistant Port Keeper Wiggins just wants to apply the customs rules as written. But neither the traders nor his bosses are so interested in honest dealing. When he is mocked to his face about another overturned ruling, he decides to fight back fairly.

  • ‘A Thin Atmosphere, Chapter 1’ by Dan Colton: Each year the Martian terrorists get closer to the Coalition colonies, their artillery now capable of reaching the outer areas. When a rocket attack takes out orbital tracking, Lieutenant Commander Genny is scrambled to provide manual radar sweeps of colony air space. But when many of his flight are taken out on launch, he realises the rocket attack is only the beginning.

  • ‘Deal Gone Bad, Chapter 1’ by Thad Kanupp: Jack survives in a post-apocalyptic desert by scavenging and knowing when to move on. But the difference between one last deal and staying too long can pass in a breath.

With such a broad range of styles and subjects, it is perhaps inevitable that a reader will prefer some stories over others, or notice apparent issues that others would not. However, they are each strong examples of their sub-genre.

Unsurprisingly, the weakest area of the magazine when viewed as a single item are the two series; but, despite the inevitable failure to resolve the main plot, both do contain a well-structured episode arc, allowing all but the most rabid anti-serialisers to read them as a short story if they wish.

Overall, I enjoyed this magazine. I recommend it to readers seeking short science fiction or fresh authors to add to their reading lists.

I received a free copy from the editor with no obligation to review.

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