January 6th, 2010

Summary: Greatest Uncommon Denominator, 2009

Summary: Greatest Uncommon Denominator, 2009

Greatest Uncommon Denominator (also called GUD) is in its third year, and I only saw one issue this year. It has the look of a "little" magazine. It features quite a generous amount of stuff each issue -- poems, artwork, nonfiction, and lots of stories. The stories are a mix of just about everything -- mainstream, slipstream, experimental fantasy and SF, and even some fairly (if not terribly) traditional fantasy and SF. The editors are Kaolin Fire, Sue Miller, Sal Coraccio, Julia Bernd and Debbie Moorhouse.

The issue featured 3 novelettes and 11 short stories (2 of the latter short-shorts). A total of some 60,000 words of fiction.

My favorite stories were Laura L. Sullivan’s "A Man of Kiri Maru", in which a young scientist happening on the isolated title island is seduced by the beautiful daughter of an earlier European visitor, and then undergoes a scary initiation rite of sorts. That description doesn’t really reflect the tone of the story, which is a bit playful, and centers mainly on the society of Kiri Maru. And Ian McHugh’s "Stiletto", gritty SF about a couple of people caught up in the ramifications of their past actions as political upheaval again convulses Australia; and a rather bitter tale of a servant girl ambiguously rescued from her vain mistress by a mysterious prince: Shweta Narayan’s "Daya and Dharma".

I count 7 stories by women (50%), rather more than last year; and about 3 SF stories (loosely defined), some 21%, rather less than last year.