This being a review of the most recent issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, number 26. (I'm a bit behind on my reviewing and still catching up, I'm afraid; I finished this issue on the plane to San Francisco before Christmas but am only just now getting around to reviewing it.)
I find it harder to pass value judgments about these than the Asimov's stories, so I'm more descriptive, but unless noted otherwise I enjoyed them all. They are also, unless otherwise, all short stories.
- "The Cruel Ship's Captain", by Harvey Welles and Philip Raines. Set in a trippy world where everyone has a ship which comes to them first in dreams and finally manifests in real life, aboard a sort of pirate vessel which captures people, takes their ships, and incorporates their substance into its own. Really well-done.
- "Reasoning about the Body", by Ted Chiang. A nonfiction piece originally delivered as the Guest of Honor speech at the 2010 Congrès Boréal in Quebec, Chiang talks about "folk biology" and how it extends into science fiction tropes like thinking the mind is a computer. Fascinating reading.
- "Elite Institute for the Study of Arc Welders' Flash Fever", by Patty Houston. A portrait of a pair of welders under study at the titular institute as they slowly go insane. Interesting.
- "Thirst", by Lindsay Vella; "Two Poems by Lindsay Vella (The Way to the Sea/Spit Out the Seeds)" (poetry). I don't know what to say about the poetry in this issue which wouldn't be longer than it, so I'll just say that it's odd and good.
- "Sleep", by Carlea Holl-Jensen. Takes "not dead, only sleeping" literally. Good.
- "The Other Realms Were Built With Trash", by Rahul Kanakia. A more conventional SF story than I usually see in LCRW. Imagines a world where human trash goes, built entirely from our cast-offs, and then what happens when a cataclysm occurs in the human world and the trash stops coming. Not as good as the rest.
- "Alice: a Fantasia", by Veronica Schanoes. What it says on the tin.
- "Dueling Trilogies", by Darrel Schweitzer (poetry). Two limericks. At last! Formal structure!
- "Absence of Water", by Sean Melican. An appropriately creepy story about the crew of the CSS H.L. Hunley.
- "The Seamstress", by Lindsay Vella. ??? Short enough to be a poem.
- "Three Hats", by Jenny Terpsichore Abeles. The story of a homeless man who, when he was young, lost his sister in a dream and went to find her. Particularly good.
- "Death's Shed", by J.M. McDermott. A boy, his dead mother, the train set his father is obsessed with, and his twin neighbors.
- "Dear Aunt Gwenda: Dangers of Hibernation Edition", by Aunt Gwenda. Continues to be the trippiest advice column in the multiverse.