Locus Magazine reviews Kaleidotrope #11 and #12

In this month’s issue of Locus Magazine, Rich Horton takes a look at the past two issues of Kaleidotrope:

The April issue (#11) of Kaleidotrope is fairly typical of this ’zine, with a variety of stories and poems. I liked Eric Del Carlo’s ‘‘Ride the Shine’’, a YA-flavored piece set on a human-colonized planet where some people live in cities but others lead a more tribal existence tending the shines, insect-like alien creatures that bond to individual humans. Fel My is a boy ready to choose (or be chosen by) his first shine, at a Jubilee, when the unthinkable happens: one of the tribes attacks the others. Fel My’s only recourse is a risky escape with an unbonded shine. No surprises here, and not quite a complete story (I wonder if it’s from a novel in progress), but solid fun. Another good piece comes from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, ‘‘Shade of the Ceiba Tree’’, in which a young woman decides to confront the god to whom her village has long sacrificed virgins, her sister included.

The Summer (#12) Kaleidotrope is a departure for the magazine. It is entirely taken up by two pieces: a long poem, and a very long story, just shy of novel length: ‘‘Libations’’ by A.S. Moser. This concerns a priestess of a forest people, Asha, and a human man, Ili. Ili has been accused of a crime, and Asha travels to his human city to kidnap the merchant who can prove Ili’s innocence, while Ili is tortured. The story is promising work, though not quite fully successful, with the motivations of the characters a bit too muddled and the worldbuilding not sufficiently detailed.