Hugo 2020 Reading – April

It’s only been a couple weeks since my last roundup, so I haven’t had time to finish any of my story podcasts yet. So the stories I read for this month were all picked from different markets that I’ve submitted to at some point to help me see what they are looking for. I am disappointed that I still haven’t found any stories that I love yet. I’ll just have to keep reading.

Bedtime Snacks for Baby” by Catherine George
a short story published by Flash Fiction Online

As a mom, I loved that the conflict of this story was feeding a baby. The linguavore was an interesting idea. It had good conflict, and a bittersweet resolution. It just wasn’t deep enough to get five stars from me. Probably a fault of the short form.

Why Aren’t Millennials Continuing Worship of the Elder Dark?” by Matt Dovey
a short story published by Diabolical Press

I am not familiar with Lovecraftian horror, so I’m sure a lot of understanding sailed right past me as I read this. Like Dovey, I’m tired of the “Millennials are killing x industry” articles, so I was glad to see this parody. I did feel like it dragged on too long, though.

The Book” by S.E. Reid
a short story published by Mysterion

I’m not a fan of horror, so this slow, creepy tale wasn’t to my usual taste. However, I did enjoy the fact that the conflict of this story was more about the ghosts within Monty than the ghosts within the haunted house. I also liked that it was a tale in a setting I don’t see often – African Americans on a road trip in the 1950s through segregation and Jim Crow.

“Untrained Luck” by Elise Stephens
a novelette published by Writers of the Future 35

This story had some good descriptions and an interesting world. However, I could see the plot twist coming from the first introduction, which sapped some of the tension. Also, the big negotiation conflict had so many proper names and points of contention that I got a bit lost.

The Duel at Maria’s Pizza and Roast Beef” by William Delman
a short story published by The Arcanist

This story about Norse heroes in modern time sounds like it would be the kind of story I like. However, the writing felt too sterile for me to connect to the characters. Lot of action, but no emotional connection. It almost felt like it was in the middle of a serial story, but there was no indication where previous stories would be.

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