“Interchange” by Gary Kloster
podcasts , Review , sci-fi , short stories / February 17, 2017

Interchange by Gary Kloster is published in Clarkesworld’s January 2017 124 Issue Summary: Workers are building a highway interchange in an anti-time dome. They work for 6 months and not a minute change outside. Meanwhile the doctor has an android assistant which is identical to her late husband. But you know what they say, when you play with time… Pros: + A unique story. Usually we manipulate time in stories the other way around. But in this story is in reverse. Moreover, the plot evolves into a suspenseful mystery. + The android. The android’s point of view also helps us to look at more sides of the other characters. Cons: – Some of the characters emotions seem too extreme, a background story would be useful.(Like the doctor’s) – Doesn’t the ending create a time paradox?

“There Used to Be Olive Trees” by Rich Larson
Review , sci-fi , short stories / February 15, 2017

“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.

“When They Come Back” by Natalia Theodoridou
podcasts , Review , sci-fi , short stories / February 13, 2017

A review for the short story “When They Come Back” by Natalia Theodoridou First published in Crossed Genres‘s issue 22: Robots, Androids & Cyborgs (October 2014) Narrated by  Ibba Armancas in EscapePod’s November 2016’s podcast Summary: Men are long gone, and the only thing left are robots and angel-like creatures who are still searching for humans. A robot befriends an angel while looking for his lover. This is an abstract story that gives bit by bit any information about a meta-apocalyptic world where android-like robots have survived. We don’t know exactly what are the angels, but apart from their fluid-shape-changing ability, we know that were faithful companion to men.  Friendship, loss, grief, hope are examined through this Natalia’s work. Pros: + lyrical writing which suits the story well + various themes examined based on loss + imaginative world building, including the angel-like creatures Cons: – The story’s abstractness due to its short form make us ask lots of questions (although this can have a positive side-effect since it will stick in our mind for a longer time while pondering it)

“Painter of Stars” by Wang Yuan, translated by Andy Dudak
podcasts , short stories / January 19, 2017

This is the review for “Painter of Stars” by Wang Yuan, translated by Andy Dudak and published in ClarkeWorld’s December 2016 Issue. Summary: A robot becomes a tattoo artist by marking the human skin in an original way (and not very apparent). It starts first with its master and ends up being world famous. Pros: + Humor, there are some funny bits in respect of the robot’s interaction with the world. + Robot’s development. It’s very interesting seeing how a robot becomes self-aware and self-creative. Creating someone’s identity is also one of the story’s main subjects. Cons: –  Not very believable in some parts. Specially as the story reaches its conclusion we have some questions         You can read the story here

Western Heaven
sci-fi , short stories / December 28, 2016

by Chen Hongyu, translated by Andy Dudak In an Wall-E world an artist robot and its companion start their “journey to the West”. What they discover is their selves. What I like in this story is that it doesn’t end when the robots reach their goal. Another story in a away unravels after that which helps the robots to evolve in a away.