‘Filling Up The Void’ – Richard E. Gropp – Interesting short story, primarily notable for presenting a furry protagonist and raaather adult themes in what is, ultimately, a fairly mainstream SF venue. Ending is rather telegraphed, and if you read a lot of sci fi you’re not going to meet much new, but the execution’s definitely acceptable, and the story features a most amazing concept for an e-mail attachment. Definitely worth reading for the furry fans.
‘Trois morceaux en forme de mechanika’ – Gord Sellar – Tricky. I’m not sure I’d classify this a story, which is typically a bad thing. However this is a rather litty (and steampunkish) take on ‘the machines rise up and overthrow everything’, rendered as a fairly dreamlike exploration. It’s different, and, I think, different in a good way. I’m not sure the piece as a whole works as intended – it’s very dense – but as a pretty usage of prose, and an experiment, I quite like it.
‘Sweet Sixteen’ – Kat Howard – I write a lot about clones, and this story worked with themes I take a particular interest in, but from a very different angle. The story itself, I think, explains its own premises better than a brief summary would, though I can say that where I’m used to seeing (and using) themes of predetermination and rebelling against (or accepting) it, ‘Sweet Sixteen’ angles in by exploring what happens when that predetermination becomes a choice that shapes the whole of your life. I think it’s a new take on familiar themes, and a good take on those themes.