The September issue of Locus Magazine contains some nice words about Clockwork Phoenix 4 from short fiction reviewer Rich Horton:
Clockwork Phoenix 4 is a continuation of a first rate series of anthologies … The book is stylistically of a piece with its predecessors – a set of well-written stories occupying multiple subgenres, usually in the same story, often ambiguously.
One of the strangest stories is from Thai writer Benjanun Sriduangkaew, who has been attracting notice with some challenging work recently. ‘‘The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly’’ has a fantasy feel, but is actually a far-future off-Earth SF story in which the main character literally has bees for a heart, and who ends up… well, read the story, which also features a search for a lost sister, battling space empires, and lots of AI. … my other two favorites in the book are rather traditional fantasies. ‘‘The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter’’ by Ian McHugh concerns a King’s doll-like emissary looking for help investigating a plot by an ambitious Lord, and getting that help both from the title character – whose father abuses her to power his magic – and from her brother. It’s dark in places, but lively and full of adventure. Tanith Lee’s ‘‘A Little of the Night’’ is the story of an officer who kills a brutal fellow officer and must flee, finding himself in a mysterious near-abandoned castle. He soon realizes that some sort of vampirism is going on, some pull on the residents’ life force.
The stories by Ian and Benjanun are on Horton’s Recommended Reading list. #SFWApro
Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.