Two diverse stories this week. The first is Trombul has Fallen by Dale Carrothers, from Afterburn SF. Afterburn publish "action oriented" SF according to their submissions guidlines, are currently publishing a story every fortnight. This story is set shortly after the fall of a despot of a rather Eastern European flavour. A couple of elements clue us in that this is set in the near future, but the story of tyrants and their cruelty and vanity is a timeless one.
Carrothers shows a good eye for a dramatic incident, and the story packs a strong emotional punch is quite exciting. It's a rather trad style of story, hinging to an extent on telepathic powers which are kind of out of style compared to old days of Slan and Foundation, or the work of Philip K Dick and Alfred Bester, where telepathy was treated as a plausible, even inevitable development.
Next up from Serendipity, which appears to be closed now, but Bishop Patteson's Crocodiles by Lavie Tidhar is part of the final issue "best of " round up. I met Lavie a few times while he was living in London at SF related gigs, and one time snuck him into the London launch of Stephen king's Lisey's Story a few years back. He's a good chap, and I've previously reviewed his novella An Occupation of Angels, which is also worth a look.
I was interested in this one by Lavie's use of pidgin, which features prominentily in the middle section of my current novel. Lavie doesn't write the whole story in pidgin - which would be a struggle to read and a near herculean task to write! - but drops in smatterings of it here and there. It has a slightly unworldy narrative voice, but Lavie is sensitive enough to prevent it sliding into a parody. The narrator tells his story in his own voice, gentle, perceptive and convincing.