Another great issue full of fun stories from On Spec.
Orchids by Christopher Johnstone
A man searching for odd creatures — and always disappointed — goes to a forest looking for a dryad. A good story, with an interesting take on the dryad as creature and theme.
Carter Hall Judges the Lines by Marissa Lingen
Carter Hall has figured in a few stories in On Spec and this hockey player turned reluctant ‘protector against weirdness’ has his hands full this time, dealing with some rather dangerous women. A fun read, as are all of Carter’s stories.
Commonplace Sacrifices by L.L. Hannett
Really really bizarre story with a guardian angel of dubious nature helping (or trying to help) a woman and her son. Interesting, but did I mention, bizarre?
For Simple Coin by Fraser Ronald
This is a fantasy adventure story. On Spec doesn’t generally have a lot of these types of stories, but when they do it is usually because the story stands out somehow and this is no exception. The main character is interesting and the situations he finds himself in — and frees himself from — are clever.
The Meditation Machine by Jamie Mason
Another strange story, written as a letter to a lover as the universe stands at the brink of destruction. Funny and well told, was a good read.
The Deer’s Thorn by Esther Rochon
This is a translation (by Jean-Louis Trudel) of a really fantastic story previous printed in French (in the magazine Solaris). A young woman moves to Quebec City and experiences a series of deepening, fantastical mysteries. Quite enjoyable.
Perfect Day by Chris Wroblewski
Two survivors hanging on as the world is ending make the most of their remaining time. Good story and endearing.