The theme of this issue based on the 4 stories is post-apocalyptic dystopian.
PENITENTS by Rich Larson 4.5 stars
This cautionary tale about abusing and destroying one's planet gave me goosebumps. Sadly, except for the tiniest thread of hope it is too late for the inhabitants of the destroyed world in the story. The author painted a detailed picture of the planet and it's remaining people which I could easily visualize and almost feel the desolation. Really liked it even though reading it was quite disquieting!
RED DREAMS by R.Z. Held 4 stars
This story was pretty awesome! Loved the character development as well as the unique take on the whole supposed "blood-craving" thing. Also the relationship between Tarn and Sol was incredible. Lastly love the ending with this quote, "She'd take it, without accounting, and consider lucky to be one of her personal words."
THE LAST HUMAN CHILD by Milo James Fowler 4.5 stars
OK... this one got to me big time... lots of tears at the end. it is definitely the one with the most hopeful end of the 3 I have read thus far. Also the characters really got to me, they were so well-crafted that they quickly felt very real. So much evil had been perpetuated by so many... yet there were still a few who resisted labeling whole groups as good or evil and looked realistically at each individual for who they were and not what group they belonged to.
SUCH WERE THE FACES OF THE LIVING CREATURES by Josh Pearce 4 stars
This story is fascinating, bizarre, creepy and disturbing for me on a lot of levels. To those I can add a bit confusing as well. The writing is exquisite and something I had to finish despite all the previous. Still trying to wrap my head around it.