Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Science Fiction: Just A Minor Malfunction - Issue #1

(Drivebycuriosity) -  Do you like science fiction? Then you might be interested in a new magazine: "Just A Minor Malfunction" edited & published by Michael S. Alter ( amazon ).  The recently released first issue, which is only online, contains 12 stories by different authors on 148 pages. The publisher announced he plans to publish twice or more editions per year. On Amazon the magazine costs just 99 cents - unbeatable.

I found an interesting mix of ideas, styles and sub-genres (this is a spoiler free blog). There are at least 4 stories which each alone could justify the purchase of this magazine:

"Second Life" by Stephanie Barr. A group of people, who works & lives in a tiny spacecraft, is suddenly confronted with a life threatening situation. The story is sharp & humorous.

"Guardian Angel" by Paul Vincent: In a near-term future a scientist creates an artificial Intelligence (AI) with  beneficial purpose, but ........  The idea reminds me a bit of Goethe´s "The Intern" (and the Disney movie based on it) but it develops more drastically. One of the best AI stories I have read so far (here my post about AI stories  driveby   ).

"The EINSA  Enhancements" by Marc Rokoff. Another AI story, with the same basic idea but it goes much farther. A bit too far for my taste, I don´t think that the described developments comply with the law of physics. But the story is fresh & entertaining.

"The Embassy" by Michael S. Alter.  The tale is set somewhere in a remote US suburb. A woman walks toward the "Embassy," a mysterious construction which is as mysterious as its owners, who might be visitors who came to earth from an unknown place and time. It´s a fascinating mystery and reminds me of the classics by Robert A. Heinlein, Clifford D. Simak & Isaac Asimov.

I also liked:

"Platinum Jungle Cat" by Lousie Sorensen  is a little surrealist and psychedelic treat and fun to read.

"A Man on the Moon" by R C Larlham is a kind of military science fiction. An ex-soldier, who lives on the earth´s satellite,  has trouble with his past and some scoundrels. Partly a tough & fast  action story.

The rest is about space pirates, grandfather avatars, superhumans and more and might interest readers as well. The editor wrote for each story an introduction with a short portrait of the author. I am looking forward to edition 2 of "Just A Minor Malfunction".

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