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Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Issue 22

Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Issue 22
Neo-Opsis Science Fiction
A single issue of Neo-Opsis Science Fiction is priced at $7.95 within Canada (price to the US is $10, price overseas is $13). A subscription (3 issues -- one-year) is $22 within Canada (price to the US $25 CDN, price overseas $33 CDN).

Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Website

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

Neo-Opsis is already into its 22nd issue and is still going strong with the usual writers Edoardo Albert, Ron Sanders, Dave Duncan, Nancy Kay Clark, and Robert J. Boumis. The cover art is provided by L.A. based author, poet and illustrator Ron Sanders whose scene is a memorable one that wouldn't look out of place on a future War of the Worlds novel's cover. It is a striking scene that makes you want to buy the magazine, but it is a dark one and implies that the fiction inside is all dark as well, when that isn't the case.

One of the aspects of this magazine I liked was the convention reports. Everyone likes to read about the cons they haven't had chance to attend, and there were two that appealed to me. The two mentioned, GottaCon and When Worlds Collide, for those who didn't go, all the titbits of information are there, the guests of honour, and daily activities written in a fun and engaging way.

Neo-Opsis contains mostly stories rather than an even mix of stories and editorial material, and with all these excellent writers on hand to show off their talents, I'm satisfied with this approach. Neo-Opsis started out as a small press publication owned and run by successful pair Karl and Stephanie Johanson. Launched in October 2003 at Vcon 28, a convention held in Vancouver, Canada. The magazine was the winner of the 2007 and 2009 Aurora Award for Best Work in English: Other, it has also been among the finalists eight years running out of nine. "The Son of Abish," by Dave Duncan is one of the remarkable stories in this issue.

As far as the stories are concerned, it would be a shame not to give some of them a mention:

"The Son of Abish," by Dave Duncan

What would be a mostly serious set of stories has a couple of uplifting ones that lighten up the magazines apparent dark feel. This one contains enough comedy and one-liners to sink a battleship, and it's got an active fantasy land of its own where the characters can wander in. As for the characters, the two main ones like to shout at each other, calling out names of all kinds that will have you laughing all the way through.

"It's Not You, It's Me," by Michael Donoghue

Betty and Ken have been dating for a while, and Betty decides she would like to have a dining experience with a difference, a virtual restaurant they can both enjoy, but Ken has something he needs to tell her, and it could mean the end of their relationship. This story combines sci-fi and comedy, creating an unexpected gem that makes you laugh at the end.

"Four Month's Hard Sweeping," by Nancy Kay Clark

In the future, cleaning and dusting gets much harder and one young woman discovers just how hard it is when she is found guilty of irresponsibility and untidiness which she believes is untrue. When she is assigned a senior sweeper, Esme, she acts as a mentor, and she has to follow her around, copying her cleaning habits until she gets used to it, little aware that dangers lurk everywhere, even for the veteran sweepers. This is an interesting and original story that focuses on what you don't see around you, and those dangers others don't see.

"Keepsake," by Robert J. Boumis

One of the shortest stories in the entire magazine, Richie Case investigates and tracks down those who are in possession of illegal technology. While she investigates, she discovers someone she thinks might be one who deals in illegal technology, but isn't sure. "Keepsake" is a strong story of loss and sorrow that doesn't go where you think and ends in the most unusual way.

This magazine can easily be sold on the cover alone, but the reality is, there is so much about it that makes it a good read. The convention reports, the stories and the editorial all create a compact package of interest to fantasy and science-fiction readers.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes has had her reviews and essays published in The British Fantasy Society, Fantasy Book Review, and Love Romance Passion to name but a few.

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