Review of “The First Time We Met” (Strange Horizons, February 2009) by Lois Tilton at The Internet Review of Science Fiction (March 2009)
This is a story about a relationship. The fantasy element is secondary, although it is at the center of the relationship; still, the story would not have been all too different if the element were non-fantastic. The question “What will our relationship be without your power” is much the same as “What will our relationship be now that you are sick/old/poor.” It is a complex thing, a relationship between two people who love each other, and this is what the author shows us.
Review of “Stain” (A cappella Zoo, Spring 2010) by Vince Corvaia at The Review Review
Maria Deira’s “Stain” is a good example of flash fiction, which simply means fiction so short it’s over in a flash. It’s a one-page, two-character story about an unnamed girl with a birthmark, “a port-wine stain on her right cheek,” and the unnamed boy she meets who has the exact same “stain” on his left cheek. In an intimate moment, their stains touch, and, well, with flash fiction, it’s difficult to give away much without giving away everything. Let’s just say that the ending is satisfactory and Deira was right to keep the story as short as it is.