Mothership Zeta

Tagged: Publication

US quarterly Online Magazine produced by Escape Artists, Inc. and edited by Mur Lafferty. It is a companion to the podzines Escape Pod, Pseudopod and Podcastle. After a small trial issue in September 2015, it appeared for six issues from October 2015 to January 2017 before it ran into financial difficulties.

Its emphasis was on fiction that was fun and did not take itself too seriously. That was demonstrated in the first issue with the Lovecraftian spoof "Tales of a Fourth-Grade Shoggoth" by Kevin Whitmore (see Cthulhu Mythos); however, most stories did take themselves quite seriously, such as "Q&A: A Love Story" (October 2015) by Fade Manley, in which an AI develops consciousness and falls in love. Robots feature in many stories, such as "Nobody Puts Baby into a Chamber" (April 2016) by Alexis A Hunter, in which a robot vacuum cleaner accidently sucks up a baby while constantly reassuring everyone that the child is okay. A few stories are more introspective. In "Straight Lines" (April 2016) by Naru Sundar, a ship's AI is checked by a psychologist for its increasing OCD. This was one of only a few stories from the magazine later broadcast on Escape Pod. The magazine ran a regular column by James Patrick Kelly, "The Story Doctor is (In)", in which he analysed individual stories from the magazine. Generally the fiction in the magazine was enjoyable and a good introduction to the possibilities of sf.

This magazine has no connection to the 2009 Videogame, which is part of the Fallout package. [MA]

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