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Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine

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A Pirate Issue with stories of Caribbean pirates, space pirates and other assorted brigands and mercenaries. Novelette: The Wooing of Etroklos, by J. Comer Short Stories: War in a Way that Suits You, by Michael A. Michaels The Lion's Share, by J.D. Brink Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jim Breyfogle The Mad God's Scepter, by Edward McDermott The End of the Golden Age, by Tyle A Pirate Issue with stories of Caribbean pirates, space pirates and other assorted brigands and mercenaries. Novelette: The Wooing of Etroklos, by J. Comer Short Stories: War in a Way that Suits You, by Michael A. Michaels The Lion's Share, by J.D. Brink Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jim Breyfogle The Mad God's Scepter, by Edward McDermott The End of the Golden Age, by Tyler Young Othan, Liberator, by Kurt Magnus Clock's Watch, by Michael Reyes Essay: Retrospective: The Best of C.L. Moore, by Jeffro Johnson Cover: Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jabari Weathers


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A Pirate Issue with stories of Caribbean pirates, space pirates and other assorted brigands and mercenaries. Novelette: The Wooing of Etroklos, by J. Comer Short Stories: War in a Way that Suits You, by Michael A. Michaels The Lion's Share, by J.D. Brink Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jim Breyfogle The Mad God's Scepter, by Edward McDermott The End of the Golden Age, by Tyle A Pirate Issue with stories of Caribbean pirates, space pirates and other assorted brigands and mercenaries. Novelette: The Wooing of Etroklos, by J. Comer Short Stories: War in a Way that Suits You, by Michael A. Michaels The Lion's Share, by J.D. Brink Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jim Breyfogle The Mad God's Scepter, by Edward McDermott The End of the Golden Age, by Tyler Young Othan, Liberator, by Kurt Magnus Clock's Watch, by Michael Reyes Essay: Retrospective: The Best of C.L. Moore, by Jeffro Johnson Cover: Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645, by Jabari Weathers

33 review for Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    My notes repeat the same words: "I could read more of this." Several stories-- "Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645", "Othan, Liberator", "The Mad God's Scepter", and "The Wooing of Etroklos"--introduce settings, characters, or situations that cry out for either expansion or further adventures. The winner of the issue, I think, is "The Wooing of Etroklos", which combines all of the above things. The soldier Sirat Tho’anchur is charged by the wizard Etroklos with securing him a bride (he being too bus My notes repeat the same words: "I could read more of this." Several stories-- "Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645", "Othan, Liberator", "The Mad God's Scepter", and "The Wooing of Etroklos"--introduce settings, characters, or situations that cry out for either expansion or further adventures. The winner of the issue, I think, is "The Wooing of Etroklos", which combines all of the above things. The soldier Sirat Tho’anchur is charged by the wizard Etroklos with securing him a bride (he being too busy for this sort of thing). The task encounters...complications of the usual bandit-related sort that requires some out-of-the-box thinking. This would all be very conventional but for all that surrounds: it is set on some backward human colony where the lifeforms are truly strange (steed animals are large humanoids bearing a spark of intelligence, and many animals are described as the cross of two familiar Earth animals); wizardry is implied to be some form of technology; Sirat is revealed to be female but living as a man, to the point of wearing chest bindings; and some of the details and actions hint of Islamic influence or beliefs, many times removed. Just the fact that Pendleton’s World appears to have a nonstandard solar system adds so much to the experience.

  2. 4 out of 5

    H. P.

    When you see a new short fiction magazine like Cirsova hit the scene—one that publishes such fresh work—you have to wonder whether the editor can keep it up. Will there be a real pipeline of quality stories, or was there a pent-up supply that will be exhausted? Cirsova’s third issue is the weakest of the first three, but it is only a very small drop-off in quality. There is a lot of underappreciated talent out there. Issue number three features only one repeat player—the inestimable Schuyler Hern When you see a new short fiction magazine like Cirsova hit the scene—one that publishes such fresh work—you have to wonder whether the editor can keep it up. Will there be a real pipeline of quality stories, or was there a pent-up supply that will be exhausted? Cirsova’s third issue is the weakest of the first three, but it is only a very small drop-off in quality. There is a lot of underappreciated talent out there. Issue number three features only one repeat player—the inestimable Schuyler Hernstrom—from the first two issues (though Jeffro Johnson returns with another essay). The issue features a bit of a nautical theme. Only a bit though. There is a good space pirate story, a few pirate-pirate stories, and a really nice bit of cover art depicting a sorcerer working magic from the deck of a ship, but the rest of the issue branches out. Issue number three is a bit of a departure from the heroic fantasy and sword and planet-heavy first two issues. This issue, much more so than the first two, could almost have been published by, say, The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Which is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because it speaks to the high quality of the stories within. Bad, because it loses some of its distinctiveness. War in a Way that Suits You by Michael A. Michaels. If you had handed me this story and told me it was written by Linda Nagata and published by a top-rate magazine, I would have believed you. A very well written military SF story about a mercenary outfit with a strict policy to leave men behind. The Lion’s Share. This is the aforementioned space pirate story. It really leans heavily on the pirate aspect. It’s not my favorite story here, but I was amused at the captain’s indignation at his quarry ignoring his fake distress calls. Blood and Bones: Caribbean 1645 by Jim Breyfogle. A sorcerer cuts a deal with a pirate captain to seize a Spanish treasure ship. The twist at the end isn’t hard to see coming, but it emphatically works nonetheless, and we get a great battle on the high seas before, complete with a little high seas sorcery. The Mad God’s Scepter by Edward McDermott. A mercenary is hired to escort a woman across the sea. They survive a pirate attack and worse in a strange cove. This one really hearkened back to the pulp tales of adventure and exploration. The End of the Golden Age by Tyler Young. Pirates and magic parrots? It works better than you might expect. Othan, Liberator by Kurt Magnus. This sword and sorcery story steps away from the theme of the issue. Evidently Magnus has written and published a bunch of Othan stories. A nice story, and something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in Cirsova, but ultimately not very memorable. The Space Witch by Schuyler Hernstrom. A Hernstrom, yes! But it’s the short story in the issue, no! A sword and planet story with space witches and crystal armor. The space witch reminds me of the red enchantress from Lin Carter’s Gondwane Epic. Clock’s Watch by Michael Reyes. Is this the first legit horror story in Cirsova? This is the sort of story you would expect to see in Skelos, not Cirsova. But a little variety is a feature, not a bug. Clock’s Watch has a very Lovecraftian feel to it (or at least what I imagine Lovecraftian to be). The Wooing of Etroklos by J. Comer. Comer’s sword and planet novelette may be my favorite story from this issue. It’s less effective in the beginning, throwing out stuff like “breadnut” and “dog-bears” and “manhorses” than later in the story when it actually describes the manhorses, or makes clear that the “wizard” Sirat serves is really a scientist or engineer. Retrospective: The Best of C.L. Moore by Jeffro Johnson. Cirsova continues to do yeoman’s work promoting great female writers who have been forgotten, this time with an essay on C.L. Moore. Moore wrote my favorite story from Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s anthology Women of Futures Past (Rusch published an essay in Cirsova no. 2), and I just picked up a couple collections of her work I’m looking forward to.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cody Hess

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emperorponders

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sablehawk

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay Barnson

  8. 5 out of 5

    D. Lyons

  9. 5 out of 5

    Orion_metalhead

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hawkings Austin

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laj

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dave Higgins

  13. 5 out of 5

    William Eckman

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark Harrop

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott E Nash

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru Constantin

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barry

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Meszaros

  22. 4 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  23. 4 out of 5

    Galaxy

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Schmidt

  25. 5 out of 5

    Will

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gideon Chan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi Jean Webster

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Ward

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  30. 5 out of 5

    Larry G Pryor Jr.

  31. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Lindberg

  32. 5 out of 5

    brendan waterman

  33. 5 out of 5

    Brent Temple

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