Locus, February 2005
The Canadian magazine Challenging Destiny has gone to electronic publication, through Fictionwise. I can't but regret this (though I can certainly understand the economic rationale). The words of the stories are the same though! The latest issue, #19 (December 2004) is a pretty strong one. Marissa K. Lingen's "Anna's Implants" has an intriguing idea. The colonists on Anna's planet have what seem to be personality constructs of great artists implanted during their teen years. The idea is to foster creativity – but sometimes it leads to madness. And – does it really help truly original art? Anna seems to be a very promising young artist – and her sister begs her not to take the implant. But Anna has a different idea.
Locus, September 2010
I saw a sequence of lush, fascinating, stories at Beneath Ceaseless Skies in July. “The Six Skills of Madame Lumiere”, by Marissa Lingen, is told by one of Madame Lumiere’s protégés, who worked for her in her whorehouse. Naturally, it was more than a whorehouse, and Madame Lumiere had more skills than just as a Madame. In this story a young man comes asking for help for his cousin, a woman with a special talent that has brought the interest of the cruel Rust Lords. The story involves a convincing journey through Faery, an intriguing talent, different villains, and a set of interesting women lead characters – all mixed delightfully.
Locus, January 2011
In Analog’s January/February Double Issue I enjoyed Marissa Lingen’s “Some of Them Closer”, a nicely quiet piece about a woman returning to Earth after decades helping terraform a new colony planet. Between the travel time (plus time dilation) and time spent on the new planet, she is completely out of touch with the people of Earth, but she had also not felt at home on the new planet. Where can she feel at home? And with whom? The answers are familiar, but the story does a fine job getting us there, and a fine job portraying the main character.
Locus, May 2014
In On Spec for Winter 2013/2104 I particularly liked “The Young Necromancer's Guide to Re-Capitation”, by Marissa Lingen and Alec Austin, which is just lots of fun, concerning a boy who collects minions in the form of re-animated fantastical creatures, here trying to recover the stolen head of his latest minion, a dragon.
Locus, March 2015
Marissa Lingen's “Blue Ribbon”, in the March Analog, is a very enjoyable and moving and rather Heinleinesque YA short set in the Oort Cloud. Tereza Pinheiro and her sister have just won a spaceship race but find themselves barred from returning to the station where their parents are: it is in quarantine. The race is sponsored by their 4H club, and there are a lot of other children in spaceships, all of course with no place to go. The problem is how to survive until help can come, how to keep their spirits up (knowing their parents are possibly very sick), and how to deal with sickness if it strikes any of them. This is well and honestly handled … in in the pure Heinlein manner, we also get a glimpse of an intriguing future space-based society. Good stuff.
Locus, July 2018
Analog’s May-June issue includes several intriguing short stories. Marissa Lingen’s “Finding Their Footing” is about a woman and her two children who have divorced their family in the Oort after her husband’s death, and who are moving to Triton to look for a new position, hoping to stop at Callisto to witness a cryovolcano eruption on the way. This is one of several stories Lingen has published about a future society in the Outer System, and they are collectively fascinating in their details about the structure and dynamics of that society. This piece is quiet, a minor work perhaps, but quite enjoyable, and I hope to see many more stories (or a novel) in this milieu.
Locus, August 2018
The purest SF story in the July-August Analog is “Left to Take the Lead”, by Marissa Lingen, another in her extended sequence of pieces set in a heavily populated Solar System. Holly is a woman from the Oort, forced into an indenture after a catastrophe (the subject of an earlier story) cost her family their home. She is working on a farm near Edmonton, with a good Earth family, and a fellow indenture who becomes a friend. The story turns on the struggles of the rest of her family to make enough money to get everyone together again, and Holly’s struggles to adapt to Earth life. (Plus there’s a bit about hockey (Martian hockey), because Marissa Lingen!) This is solid work in what is becoming a really impressive series dealing with very interesting ideas about the social and economic order of this Solar System.
Locus, March 2019
I also liked Marissa Lingen’s “The Thing, With Feathers” (Uncanny, January-February), which is set in a weirdly post-apocalyptic world – a magical apocalypse. Val is a lighthouse keeper on a lake, once a sort of magical doctor, struggling to maintain belief in a possible future. A man comes to her place by the lake, a stranger, asking for her help. The story, quiet, understated, really portrays the blossoming of something that might be friendship, and, maybe, a bit of, well – the thing with feathers.
Locus, December 2019
In the November-December Analog Marissa Lingen contributes a strong well grounded story, “Filaments of Hope”, about Lif, who has been planning to go to Mars as long as they’ve been able to, and who is left at loose ends when the mission in canceled. So they visit relatives in Iceland, and they find, perhaps, that what they’ve learned about adapting to Mars still has meaning on this ever-changing, ever-challenging, world. It’s a quiet story, with no bombshells: just solid and believable characters.