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Andrea Phillips. Fireside Fiction (, $6.99 e-book (240p) ISBN 978-0-9861040-0-8

Phillips’s terrific SF debut (the launch title for independent press Fireside Fiction) examines the ways in which personal identity, privacy, and major life events might be compromised or altered by technology that bends reality. Hapless Mira Newton is attempting to eke out a living as a Brooklyn barista. Her tech-magnate boyfriend, Benji, runs a Wikipedia-like website called Verity. After he dumps her, she decides to get some swift retribution by editing his page on Verity—using Benji’s own account—to state that she’s not his ex but his fiancée. The next morning, to Mira’s astonishment, he retracts the breakup and proposes. Benji’s former colleague Chandra confirms that Verity has the power to change elements of reality, and she offers cryptic warnings about the company founders’ motivations. Phillips poses hard questions about love, loyalty, personal identity, and truth, and her answers range from fascinating to horrifying. Other than a few moments of superfluous description, her writing is crisp and clean, and she has a great command of balancing story elements. Her fresh voice will be very welcome in the SF world. (May)