“There Used to Be Olive Trees” by Rich Larson is published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction‘s January/February 2017 issue Summary: In post-apocalyptic Spain, our hero is trying to prove his town that is a prophet. And by prophet we mean being able to speak to the AI gods with the means of a rare artificial implant. To do that he escapes the town’s fortress but he faces a dangerous wilder. Another man who is trying to save his people. Remarks: Pros: + Great world-building. We see an after world with two different types of human towns and also the AIs. + Concise dialogue between the characters, resulting to an unexpected bonding. + The action, described in a great way holding you at the edge of your chair. Cons: – The story ends suddenly. Would like to see the consequences of their decisions.
The Ghost Ship Anastasia by Rich Larson was published in January 2017’s Clarkesworld issue. Summary: An action packed mystery story about a space crew (including one sister who is physically dead) following the distress call received by a bioship. Its A.I. seems to have taken the ship over and its occupants are missing apart from one. Pros: + Action thriller packed. + Emotional because of the dead sister + Great ending Cons: + It’s not explained why the sister’s consciousness will deteriorate after a few hours in the spacesuit. Why does it fit in there at the first place?