The Sci Phi Journal, which is publishing Beyond the Mist, is in need of additional readers to remain sustainable, and if the readership does not grow sufficiently, it might have to fold before completing the scheduled serialization. I would encourage anyone who is undecided about whether to buy an issue, anyone who likes the sound of stories and articles that truly engage your brain, to take a chance and try it, there are many excellent reads to choose from. If you have already bought some issues, tell your friends about it or write an amazon review. The highlights among the stories for me are as follows (this is not to say that the stories I do not mention are poor, and some of you may disagree with my personal picks, but these are the ones that stood out to me):
“Domo” by Joshua M Young:
A sentient robot servitor that leads a simultaneous double social life (one with humans and one with its fellow machines) encounters the first signs of its own mortality and begins to contemplate the consequences. These ideas spread within the machine community, leading to efforts to generate their own deity and afterlife, which the servitor in question rejects, preferring the answer to this question of his human chess partner.
“The Ideal Machine” by John C. Wright:
A craft approaches earth from deep space, containing aliens who offer humanity a machine that promises virtually unlimited power to its wielder. Three men in turn handle the device, all with different approaches and goals.
“Ghosts” by Peter Sean Bradley
A look at a society that is becoming increasingly disconnected from reality through the use of augmented reality ‘i-glasses’ that populate your world with sights and people to make life more pleasant.
“The Quantum Process” by David Hallquist:
A terrifying look at a mind-transfer process that went wrong, or did it?
This issue also contains the Hugo-nominated “On a Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli and the start of my serial.
“Idle Hands are the Devil’s Workshop” by Mark Andrew Edwards
A hilarious tale of the dangers of giving in to curiosity.
“Detritus” by Jason Kimble
A moving and well-written tale of a tough female mutant in a universe that’s a cross between Firefly and Gattaca.
“An Iron Shell of Ritual” by Jeff Racho
After being captured and held for two days by a terrorist group before being rescued, an autonomous combat mech starts asking its superiors unusual questions.
“Bunny Rabbit” by E.J. Shumak
A disturbing tale of human cruelty and rage from the perspective of a sentient soft toy.
“The Keresztury TVirs” by Ivan Popov (translated from the original Bulgarian by Ivan Popov, Vladimir Poleganov, and Kalin M. Nenov)
A documentary-style take on the rise and growingly nefarious use of viruses infecting TV sets.
“God Eaters” by Joshua M Young
A tale of distant-future transhumans and the struggle of one of them against their own violent cannibalistic programming.
“The Frankenstein Project” by Ellen Denton
A story of the first human mind to be transferred to a robotic body, despite something odd happening to one of the simian test subjects.
“Whispers” by David Hallquist
A man decides to beam himself to an old abandoned space station that is said to be haunted, explore it and take the footage back home to sell. Things don’t go quite as planned.
“Pawprints in the Aeolian Dust” by Eleanor R. Wood
An astronaut on Mars, still mourning the death of his dog back on Earth, gets caught in a dust storm and begins seeing strange things in the swirling chaos.
“Ghostwritten” by Sean Eads
A spacecraft finally approaches a planet suspected to be where humanity’s Muses originate, since all human creativity appears to have long since come to a grinding halt.
This is certainly not to say that the articles are not worth reading, I will do a list of the standout examples of those next post!