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Reviewed by Geoff Habiger for Readers' Favorite
Volume 2 of Unfit Magazine, edited by Daniel Scott White, features nine new short stories from a variety of science fiction authors, including Cat Rambo, Ken Liu, Tim Major and Yoon Ha Lee. The collection of stories featured in this volume focuses on the realms of cyberpunk and steampunk.
This is a great collection of short stories by some of the best writers in the genre these days. As with most short story collections, each reader will find that they like certain stories over others, and that was true for me. Three of the stories in this collection stand out to me, and I think they are the best ones in this issue. “Toys, Going Home” by Eric Del Carlo is a fun and creative look at the use of AI in toys, specifically Story Bears, that are programmed to seek out adventure so they can return to their owners and then tell them the story of their journey. The mix of personalities and the individual stories from the bear and the unique outcome made this story stand out for me.
In “Last Call on Lindisfarne,” J.B. Toner takes us on a fun adventure in space but hearkens back to the traditional days of brewing by monks. This story presents a fun twist on a bit of history in a unique sci-fi setting. Finally, for me, “The Great Circus Robbery” by David R. Grigg is a exciting romp and plain old fun adventure set in a steampunk world where the circus includes mechanical animals, and what happens when a young girl and her father (mostly her father) attempt to steal the ticket money. Grigg has wonderful descriptions of the circus, a compelling young protagonist in Lizzie, and the chase at the end is filled with pure fancy and wonder. It was a delight to read.
Unfit Magazine, Volume 2, is a great collection of short stories. If you are looking for some wonderful diversions that will make you take a look at AI and steampunk in a bit of a different light, then pick up a copy.