“If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” was published on on Aug 1, 2017 , Apex Magazine Issue 99. Summary: Allison Mills writes about a family of ghost busters. But they are not like in the movies. It’s only a grandma, with her daughter and her grand-daughter who is full of questions. They visit houses and help other people to exorcise ghosts that are haunting them. Also birds can be ghosts as well. Analysis: This short story is about grief and letting go. It has interesting themes such as: passing a skill from a generation to another. discovery of oneself and growing up how to treat ghosts face death of a close family member We follow the grand-daughter’s point of view as she grows up around ghosts. Another interesting idea is that you can catch a ghost on your hair!
This is the review of “You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych” by Kathleen Kayembe, published in Nightmare Magazine’s March 2017 Issue. Summary: Isobelle is visiting her Uncle for the summer break. An Uncle who is consumed by superstition and fear. That’s why Isobelle doesn’t believe him when he says that the strange noises that come from her cousin’s bedroom belong to a pet dog. Pros: + The supernatural horror here plays a secondary role to the reason that cause it. The real horror is what people can do when they give in to superstition. + The well-drawn characters. +The emotional ending. Cons: – The shift between three different perspectives might reduce the tension of the story for some readers. You can read the story here.
This is the review for the short story “Remote Presence” by Susan Palwick published at the Lightspeed magazine’s April 2017 issue. Synopsis: Chaplin Win’s job in the hospital is to help ghosts leave our world. However, he finds trouble when he stalls the exorcism of a kind elderly ghost. Pros: + Heart-warming emotions. + The kind ghost + Very close to real life, human beings working in tiring real jobs
This is the review for “Laal Andhi” by Usman T. Malik , published as a reprint in Nightmare Magazine’s September 2016 Issue. Summary: The narrator and three of his friends engage in a dark game in an attempt to give their childhood a second chance in magic and poetry and to escape the true horrors that loom over Lahore. But the horrors catch up to them in the most horrible way and so does Laal Andhi, The Crimson Storm. Pros: + The supernatural events in juxtaposition with the real terrorism and chaos of the country. + The well-drawn characters. + The unusual and diverse setting. Cons: – The detailed descriptions of place and the confusing timeline might detract from the horror build up. You can read the story here.