amysisson's Short Story Per Day 2016: Quarter 1

DiscussãoShort Stories

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

amysisson's Short Story Per Day 2016: Quarter 1

Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "inativo" —a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Reative o tópico publicando uma resposta.

1amysisson
Editado: Abr 4, 2016, 9:31 am

cut and paste format:

Story #

Title:
Author:
Length:
Category:
Where Published:
When Published:
Rating:
Link:

2amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 12:20 pm

JANUARY 2016

1. (1 in January) - January 1, 2016 - "The Pixie Game" by Anna Zumbro. Published in Daily Science Fiction, June 30, 2015. Read 01-03-16.
2. (2 in January) - January 2, 2016 - "Telling the Bees" by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon). Published in Strange Horizons, December 21, 2015. Read 01-04-16.
3. (3 in January) - January 3, 2016 - "A Note to Parents Regarding the Beginning and End of Time Diorama Presentations for Ms. Miller’s Third Grade Class" by Rebecca Schwarz. Published in Flash Fiction Online, August 2015 (reprint). Read 01-04-16.
4. (4 in January) - January 4, 2016 - "Lords A-Leaping" by Sarah Crysl Akhtar. Published in Every Day Fiction, January 6, 2016. Read 01-07-16.
5. (5 in January) - January 5, 2016 - "Ghosts of the Ashwydds" by Filip Wiltgren. Published in Daily Science Fiction, January 7, 2016. Read 01-07-16.
6. (6 in January) - January 6, 2016 - "Mycelium" by Fábio Fernandes. Published in Perihelion, December 2015. Read 01-07-16.
7. (7 in January) - January 7, 2016 - "Stripped to Zero" by Stephen S. Power. Published in Nature, August 5, 2015.
8. (8 in January) - January 8, 2016 - "Bonsaiships of Venus" by Kate Heartfield. Published in Lackington's, Fall 2014.
9. (9 in January) - January 9, 2016 - "Engelbert" by Gareth D. Jones. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 7, 2015. Read 01-10-16.
10. (10 in January) - January 10, 2016 - “The Osteomancer’s Husband” by Henry Szabranski. Published in Diabolical Plots, January 2016. Read 01-12-16.
11. (11 in January) - January 11, 2016 - "In the Cold" by Kelly Jennings. Published in Strange Horizons, January 9, 2012. Read 01-12-16.
12. (12 in January) - January 12, 2016 - "Two to Leave" by Yoon Ha Lee. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 28, 2015. Read 01-13-16.
13. (13 in January) - January 13, 2016 - "Unearthly Landscape by a Lady" by Rebecca Campbell. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 15, 2015. Read 01-20-16.
14. (14 in January) - January 14, 2016 - "Reading Beauty" by Abigail Ashing. Published in Daily Science Fiction, January 21, 2016. Read 01-07-16.
15. (15 in January) - January 15, 2016 - "Vacui Magia" by L.S. Johnson. Published in Strange Horizons, January 5, 2015. Read 01-22-16.
16. (16 in January) - January 16, 2016 - "Expensive" by Jessica Snell. Published in Daily Science Fiction, January 25, 2016. Read 01-26-16.
17. (17 in January) - January 17, 2016 - "Bilingual" by Henry Lien. Published in F&SF, March/April 2015. Read 01-27-16.
18. (18 in January) - January 18, 2016 - "Ancestor Money" by Maureen McHugh. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 01-27-16.
19. (19 in January) - January 19, 2016 - "Super Goat Man" by Jonathan Lethem. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 01-27-16.
20. (20 in January) - January 20, 2016 - "The Shutdown" by Marge Simon. Published in Daily Science Fiction, January 28, 2016. Read 01-28-16.
21. (21 in January) - January 21, 2016 - "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" by Stephen King. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 01-28-16.
22. (22 in January) - January 22, 2016 - "By Degrees and Dilatory Time" by S.L. Huang. Published in Strange Horizons, May 18, 2015. Read 01-28-16.
23. (23 in January) - January 23, 2016 - "Tin and Mercury, Gilt and Glass" by Lane Robins. Published in Daily Science Fiction, January 29, 2016. Read 01-29-16.
24. (24 in January) - January 24, 2016 - "Bones" by Francesca Lia Block. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 01-29-16.
25. (25 in January) - January 25, 2016 - "Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs" by Leonard Richardson. Published in Strange Horizons, July 13, 2009. Read 01-31-16.
26. (26 in January) - January 26, 2016 - "The Sharing Series" by Janet Savage. Published in Every Day Fiction, January 12, 2016. Read 01-31-16.
27. (27 in January) - January 27, 2016 - "The Retelling of Jeremiah" by Kelly Sandoval. Published in Flash Fiction Online, January 2016. Read 01-31-16.
28. (28 in January) - January 28, 2016 - "Live Forever" by Anton Rose. Published in Flash Fiction Online, January 2016. Read 01-31-16.
29. (29 in January) - January 29, 2016 - "Snow Crab Knife" by Christopher Shultz. Published in Freeze Frame Fiction, date unknown. Read 02-01-16.
30. (30 in January) - January 30, 2016 - "Insert Line: Goodbye Mom, Goodbye Dad" by Joshua P'ng. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 2, 2016. Read 02-02-16.
31. (31 in January) - January 31, 2016 - "The Book of Martha" by Octavia Butler. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 02-02-16.



FEBRUARY 2016

32. (1 in February) - February 1, 2016 - "Fruit and Words" by Aimee Bender. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 02-02-16.
33. (2 in February) - February 2, 2016 - "May Dreams Shelter Us" by Kate O’Connor. Published in Diabolical Plots, February 1, 2016. Read 02-03-16.
34. (3 in February) - February 3, 2016 - "Mythago Wood" (novelette) by Robert Holdstock. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 02-04-16.
35. (4 in February) - February 4, 2016 - "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" by Kij Johnson. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 02-04-16.
36. (5 in February) - February 5, 2016 - "In the Loop" by Ken Liu. Published as reprint in Warrior Women, Prime Books, 2015. Read 02-05-16.
37. (6 in February) - February 6, 2016 - "43 Responses to 'In Memory of Dr. Alexandra Nako'" by Barbara A. Barnett. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 5, 2016. Read 02-06-16.
38. (7 in February) - February 7, 2016 - "Dying with Her Cheer Pants On" by Seanan McGuire. Published as reprint in Warrior Women, Prime Books, 2015. Read 02-10-16.
39. (8 in February) - February 8, 2016 - "The Opening of the Bayou Saint John" by Shawn Scarber. Published in Strange Horizons, February 8, 2016. Read 02-11-16.
40. (9 in February) - February 9, 2016 - "Boy Twelve" by Jessica Reisman. Published as reprint in Warrior Women, Prime Books, 2015. Read 02-16-16.
41. (10 in February) - February 10, 2016 - "Tomorrow's World" by Aimee Ogden. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 12, 2016. Read 02-16-16.
42. (11 in February) - February 11, 2016 - "Mold" by Richard Mirabella. Published in One Teen Story, January 2016. Read 02-17-16.
43. (12 in February) - February 12, 2016 - "They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain" by Rachael Acks. Published as reprint in Warrior Women, Prime Books, 2015. Read 02-18-16.
44. (13 in February) - February 13, 2016 - "Wonder Maul Doll" by Kameron Hurley. Published as reprint in Warrior Women, Prime Books, 2015. Read 02-18-16.
45. (14 in February) - February 14, 2016 - "Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Lightspeed, September 2015. Read 02-19-16.
46. (15 in February) - February 15, 2016 - "The Shapes Of Us, Translucent To Your Eye" by Rose Lemberg. Published in Unlikely Story: The Journal of Unlikely Academia, October 2015. Read 02-19-16.
47. (16 in February) - February 16, 2016 - "The Weight of a Blessing" by Aliette de Bodard. Published as a reprint in Clarkesworld Year Seven, 2015. Read 02-21-16.
48. (17 in February) - February 17, 2016 - "Android One" by Richard Ankers. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 22, 2016. Read 02-22-16.
49. (18 in February) - February 18, 2016 - "Trickier with Each Translation" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Published in Queers Destroy Science Fiction/Lightspeed, June 2015. Read 02-22-16.
50. (19 in February) - February 19, 2016 - "The Urashima Effect" by E. Lily Yu. Published as a reprint in Clarkesworld Year Seven, 2015. Read 02-23-16.
51. (20 in February) - February 20, 2016 - "Ants on a Trestle" by Elliotte Rusty Harold. Published in Crossed Genres, September 2015. Read 02-24-16.
52. (21 in February) - February 21, 2016 - "The Magician’s Assistant" by Paul Crenshaw. Published in Flash Fiction Online, February 2016. Read 02-24-16.
53. (22 in February) - February 22, 2016 - "The Missing Finger of Jerry Garcia" by Jon Allison. Published in Freeze Frame Fiction, date unknown. Read 02-24-16.
54. (23 in February) - February 23, 2016 - "Boy Seeds" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 14, 2011. Read 02-25-16.
55. (24 in February) - February 24, 2016 - "Calved" by Sam J. Miller. Published in Asimov's, September 2015. Read 02-25-16.
56. (25 in February) - February 25, 2016 - "Town of Cats" by Haruki Murakami. Published in New Yorker, September 5, 2011. Read 02-25-16.
57. (26 in February) - February 26, 2016 - "A Cure Over Coffee" by Pontius Paiva. Published in Daily Science Fiction, February 29, 2016. Read 02-29-16.
58. (27 in February) - February 27, 2016 - "A Room for Lost Things" by Chloe N. Clark. Published in Diabolical Plots, September 2015. Read 02-29-16.
59. (28 in February) - February 28, 2016 - "Chatter Monkey" by Caroline Couderc. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 1, 2016. Read 03-01-2016.
60. (29 in February) - February 29, 2016 - "Music" by Anna Zumbro. Published in Freeze Frame Fiction. Read 03-01-2016.



MARCH 2016

61. (1 in March) - March 1, 2016 - "Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Lightspeed, March 2016. Read 03-01-2016.
62. (2 in March) - March 2, 2016 - "Octopussy" by Ian Fleming. Reprint published in audiobook collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories, September 2014. Listened 03-02-2016.
63. (3 in March) - March 2, 2016 (second story) - "Ajdenia" by Natalia Theodoridou. Published in Nature, March 2, 2016. Read 03-02-2016.
64. (4 in March) - March 3, 2016 - "The Property of a Lady" by Ian Fleming. Reprint published in audiobook collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories, September 2014. Listened 03-03-2016.
65. (5 in March) - March 3, 2016 (second story) - "When Last We Left" by Andrew Kozma. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 3, 2016. Read 03-03-2016.
66. (6 in March) - March 3, 2016 (third story) - "The Living Daylights" by Ian Fleming. Reprint published in audiobook collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories, September 2014. Listened 03-03-2016.
67. (7 in March) - March 4, 2016 - "007 in New York" by Ian Fleming. Reprint published in audiobook collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories, September 2014. Listened 03-03-2016.
68. (8 in March) - March 5, 2016 - "Making the Cut" by Jeffrey Howe. Published in One Teen Story, February 2016. Read 03-05-16.
69. (9 in March) - March 5, 2016 (second story) - "Bolt" by David Elzey. Published in One Teen Story, November 2015. Read 03-05-16.
70. (10 in March) - March 6, 2016 - "What's In The Blend" by K.C. Norton. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 4, 2016. Read 03-06-16.
71. (11 in March) - March 7, 2016 - "One's Company" by Davian Aw. Published in Diabolical Plots, March 2016. Read 03-07-16.
72. (12 in March) - March 8, 2016 - "Let There Be Light" by Chen Qiufan, translated from Chinese by Ken Liu. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 8, 2016. Read 03-08-16.
73. (13 in March) - March 9, 2016 - "Shovelware" by Bogi Takács. Published in Nature, March 10, 2016.
74. (14 in March) - March 10, 2016 - "My Blurry Girlfriend" by Michael Jaoui. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 15, 2016. Read 03-22-16.
75. (15 in March) - March 11, 2016 - "The Human is Late to Feed the Cat" by Beth Cato. Published in Nature, March 23, 2016. Read 03-23-2016.
76. (16 in March) - March 12, 2016 - "The World as Seen by Angels" by Olivia Berrier. Published in Every Day Fiction, March 1, 2015. Read 03-25-16.
77. (17 in March) - March 13, 2016 - "P.G. Holyfield’s Magnificent Travelling Spectacular" by K.T. Bryski. Published in Tales of a Tesla Ranger: A Tribute to PG Holyfield, 2014. Read 03-25-16.
78. (18 in March) - March 14, 2016 - "Earth Hour" by Ken MacLeod. Published in Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audio anthology), 2013. Listened 03-27-16.
79. (19 in March) - March 15, 2016 - "Eve of Sin City" by Sylvia Day. Published in Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audio anthology), 2013. Listened 03-27-16.
80. (20 in March) - March 16, 2016 - "The President's Brain is Missing" by John Scalzi. Published in Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audio anthology), 2013. Listened 03-27-16.
81. (21 in March) - March 17, 2016 - "You Are Not the Hero of This Story" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Daily Science Fiction, March 31, 2016. Read 03-31-16.
82. (22 in March) - March 18, 2016 - "Sorry Fugu" by T.C. Boyle. Published in "Selected Shorts: Food Fictions" (audiobook anthology), 2007. Listened 03-31-16.
83. (23 in March) - March 19, 2016 - "The Dauphin’s Metaphysics" by Eric Schwitzgebel. Published in Unlikely Story: The Journal of Unlikely Academia, October 2015. Read 03-31-16.
84. (24 in March) - March 20, 2016 - "Degrees of Separation" by Ruth Nestvold. Published in Abyss & Apex, 2015 (third quarter). Read 03-31-16.
85. (25 in March) - March 21, 2016 - "The Stories She Tells Herself" by Kelly Sandoval. Published in Daily Science Fiction, April 1, 2016. Read 04-02-16.
86. (26 in March) - March 22, 2016 - "Foreign Tongues" by John Wiswell. Published in Flash Fiction Online, April 2016. Read 04-03-16.
87. (27 in March) - March 23, 2016 - "Rocket Man" by Lynette Mejia. Published in Daily Science Fiction, April 4, 2016. Read 04-04-16.
88. (28 in March) - March 24, 2016 - "The Memory Who Became a Girl" by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks. Published in Fireside Fiction, April 2016. Read 04-04-16.
89. (29 in March) - March 25, 2016 - "Meltwater" by Benjamin C. Kinney. Published in Strange Horizons, March 14, 2016. Read 04-04-16.
90. (30 in March) - March 26, 2016 - "The Blood Tree War" by Daniel Ausema. Published in Diabolical Plots, April 2016. Read 04-04-16.
91. (31 in March) - March 27, 2016 - "Overtime" by Charles Stross. Published in Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audio anthology), 2013. Listened 04-05-16.
92. (32 in March) - March 28, 2016 - "The Unthreading" by Matt Handle. Published in Freeze Frame Fiction. Read 04-05-2016.
93. (33 in March) - March 29, 2016 - "Millepora" by Shannon Peavey. Published in Flash Fiction Online, March 2016. Read 04-05-16.
94. (34 in March) - March 30, 2016 - "Happiness is in Your Genes" by Kevin Cheeseman. Published in Mash Stories, March 31, 2016. Read 04-05-16.
95. (35 in March) - March 31, 2016 - "Semper Fi, Mac" by Tammi J. Truax. Published in Mash Stories, March 30, 2016. Read 04-05-16.

3amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:15 pm

Story # 1

Title: "The Pixie Game"
Author: Anna Zumbro
Length: 992 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2015-06-15
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fantasy/anna-zumbro/the-pixie-game

I felt this short piece was most effective, and I liked that pixies were just a given in this world.

4amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:15 pm

Story # 2

Title: "Telling the Bees"
Author: T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)
Length: 723 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2015-12-21
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/20151221/kingfisherbees-f.shtml

This story was stunning in its loveliness. And funny thing, only a few weeks ago I'd seen someone post that they'd read a lovely story and then found out it was written by Ursula Vernon under a pseudonym. I immediately made a mental note to go find this story, and immediately forgot.

Today I found it by chance, by looking to see what was on Strange Horizons recently. I read it, though it was perfect (length, tone, subject), then saw down below it was the story by Ms. Vernon, the one I'd meant to look up.

I'm so glad I read this.

5amysisson
Editado: Maio 13, 2016, 2:58 pm

Story # 3

Title: "A Note to Parents Regarding the Beginning and End of Time Diorama Presentations for Ms. Miller’s Third Grade Class"
Author: Rebecca Schwarz
Length: 626 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2015-08
Originally Published: Daily Science Fiction, 2014
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/a-note-to-parents-regarding-the-begin...

This is a cute piece consisting of a note from a teacher to parents about their children's upcoming diorama assignment. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't necessarily call it memorable. But that's OK; it's nice to be entertained. It doesn't all have to be life and death.

6elenchus
Jan 4, 2016, 10:32 pm

>4 amysisson:

You motivated me to read it, and I too am happy to have read it. I like the sly dig at myth and fables, with the curses and magic working just so.

7amysisson
Jan 4, 2016, 10:35 pm

>5 amysisson:

It's like her "Toad Words" -- I don't know how she does it!

8elenchus
Jan 4, 2016, 11:58 pm

>4 amysisson:

By coincidence, there's an Early Reviewer short story collection with a Vernon story on offer in January:

http://www.librarything.com/er_list.php?sort=quantity&program=earlyreview&am...

9amysisson
Jan 5, 2016, 2:19 am

>8 elenchus:

LOL, looks like there are two Vernon stories in there, and I've read them both! ;-)

10amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 pm

Story # 4

Title: "Lords A-Leaping"
Author: Sarah Crysl Akhtar
Length: 800 words
Category: Short story (category unknown)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-06
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/lords-a-leaping-by-sarah-crysl-akhtar/

I felt as though this consisted of two stories, and unfortunately, neither of them made sense to me. I liked a description here and there, but then one would throw me off, such as "Her body was sleekly muscular, like a fabulous sea lion’s."

11amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 pm

Story # 5

Title: "Ghosts of the Ashwydds"
Author: Filip Wiltgren
Length: 353 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-07
Rating:
Link: http://dsf.webfactional.com/fantasy/parapsychology/filip-wiltgren/ghost-of-the-a...

This is a very short piece about ghosts' existence being dependent upon the living's belief in them. It's also about changing times. I thought it was okay, but maybe a little too brief and obvious for my taste.

12amysisson
Editado: Jan 12, 2016, 2:27 pm

Story # 6

Title: "Mycelium"
Author: Fábio Fernandes
Length: 3,277 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Perihelion
When Published: 2015-12-12
Rating:
Link: http://www.perihelionsf.com/1512/fiction_2.htm (link good for approx. 4 months)

Ariana travels in a "nulltime bubble," a dangerous mode but the only way to travel the far distances in space between the mining asteorids upon which the few surviving humans live, to a colony where an accident resulting in the seeming death of several researchers has occurred. Ariana is a kinocchio, or living recorder, sent to offer what help she can.

There's a lot in this story, most of which I liked. It seems to be part of a much larger picture, which is fine -- authors have been publishing excerpts of their novels as short works since the beginning of science fiction. I'm okay with not knowing more about the eneny that wiped out most of humanity, and I liked the bit of backstory we got on Ariana, but I felt like the bones of this story needed a little more flesh on them.

13amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 pm

Story # 7

Title: "Stripped to Zero"
Author: Stephen S. Power
Length: 912 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2015-08-05
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v524/n7563/full/524130a.html

This story is about privacy and the ubiquity of advertising. It was fine but didn't cover any new ground for me. (Not all stories have to, but if they don't, they have to have some kind of emotional or entertainment hook for me.)

14amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:17 pm

Story # 8

Title: "Bonsaiships of Venus"
Author: Kate Heartfield
Length: 1,491 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Lackington's
When Published: 2014 (Fall)
Rating:
Link: http://lackingtons.com/2014/10/28/bonsaiships-of-venus-by-kate-heartfield/

I love the idea behind this story: "bonsaiships," or living, growing ships that must be created and tended by artists. But I was not moved by the plot, and I was not able to understand the mechanics of how growing the ships worked. I don't mean that I found it implausible; I mean that I couldn't figure out what the words were actually describing. It's possible I could figure it out upon re-reading, but having to work it out kind of takes away the sense of wonder about the idea for me.

15amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:17 pm

Story # 9

Title: "Engelbert"
Author: Gareth D. Jones
Length: 1,464 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2015-08-07
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/nanotech/gareth-d-jones/englebert

Although I found the premise of this story a little bit of a stretch, the narrative takes some chances that pay off. At a research compound, a camel that is sentient due to nanotechnology has only one friend, an analyst at the facility. Something bad has happened, and the story moves through a bit of back-and-forth chronology to bring the reader to a point of understanding. Although I can see now that it was done deliberately, I think there was a point near the beginning where I was confused because I thought both characters were camels; I think that possibly could have been better clarified without spoiling anything else in the story. But it's a minor quibble.

16amysisson
Jan 12, 2016, 2:30 pm

Story # 10

Title: "The Osteomancer’s Husband"
Author: Henry Szabranski
Length: 1,171 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: January 2016
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-11-the-osteomancers-husband-by-henry-s...

I liked this story, that I consider to be mostly dark fantasy, but partly romance. A woman with power over bones loves her husband, whom she reanimated, but she also controls him with her magic. When the townspeople discover his nature, they come with pitchforks.

17amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:17 pm

Story # 11

Title: "In the Cold"
Author: Kelly Jennings
Length: 3,035 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2012-01-09
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2012/20120109/cold-f.shtml

This story could easily have been 4 1/2 instead of 3 1/2 stars for me -- it pushes all of my sci-fi buttons. Space colony, winter planet, hard decisions, survival.... It built suspense wonderfully. But for me, so much was obscured by the author's choice of writing style. I think it was meant to be the specific communication style of this particular generation on this colony, but the too-long sentences had too many commas. Plus I think the author was trying to be so subtle on a few points that it meaning didn't get through to me.

18amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:18 pm

Story # 12

Title: "Two to Leave"
Author: Yoon Ha Lee
Length: 3,618 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Beneath Ceaseless Skies
When Published: 2015-05-28
Rating:
Link: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/two-to-leave/

In this story, a warrior completes the task of killing two dozen warriors in the Parched Lands with his bee-gun (yes, bees swarm out of it), then spends a lot of time talking to the ferryman, who must be paid in eyes to ferry (presumably) the dead back and forth.

I know this author is highly regarded, and there are some nice turns of phrase, but I don't understand why a reader would be expected to care about these nameless, cryptic characters. I know there's a lot of myth and metaphor here, but if it doesn't result in my caring about anything, it doesn't succeed as a story for me.

19amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:18 pm

Story # 13

Title: "Unearthly Landscape by a Lady"
Author: Rebecca Campbell
Length: 3,596 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Beneath Ceaseless Skies
When Published: 2015-10-15
Rating:
Link: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/unearthly-landscape-by-a-lady/

This is an atmospheric story related by a governess whose former pupil incorporated unearthly creatures into the tiny details of the teacups and fans she painted.

I think I would have preferred if this had practiced a little restraint. There are some lovely sentences, but for me, there were too many that went on too long. I felt weighted down. I think I would have liked it better at 2/3 to 3/4 the length.

20amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:18 pm

Story # 14

Title: "Reading Beauty"
Author: Abigail Ashing
Length: 102 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-21
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/abigail-ashing/reading-beauty

This is the kind of fairy-tale twist story that was once new, but doesn't really feel fresh anymore. It's cute enough, but didn't excite me.

21amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:18 pm

Story # 15

Title: "Vacui Magia"
Author: L.S. Johnson
Length: 3,458 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2015-01-05
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/20150105/VacuiMagia-f.shtml

In this story an infertile witch whose own mother is dying of breast cancer decides to conjure a baby/golem because she feels guilty about not providing a granddaughter.

I'm afraid this one wasn't to my taste. To me, it felt like it was trying to hard, covering infertility, breast cancer, senility, guilt, and grief. In addition, it used a list format in addition to being a second-person POV, both of which I've seen a little too much of lately. I do think the story was heartfelt, but I would have preferred a "less is more" approach.

22amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:19 pm

Story # 16

Title: "Expensive"
Author: Jessica Snell
Length: 611 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-25
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/jessica-snell/expensive

This short piece is about a young woman who is the "collateral damage" when a counterfeit prince plays with her affections.

For me, this felt like it tried too hard. And it would have been better without the last sentence, which repeated an earlier sentence. The second-to-last sentence was more effective, in my opinion.

23amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:19 pm

Story # 17

Title: "Bilingual"
Author: Henry Lien
Length: 4,445 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: F&SF
When Published: 2015-03
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story consists of many, many tweets by an Asian girl who figures out how to get captive dolphins to communicate to each other that they should avoid the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.

I give this high marks for its experimental, up-to-the-minute nature, but I found it difficult to read and a bit longer than I would have liked. I also felt that we didn't "see" the actual payoff. Finally, I found it unlikely that Seatopia wouldn't have been following her Twitter feed, especially once Hayden Panetierre and Ke$ha started re-tweeting her.

24amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:02 pm

Story # 18

Title: "Ancestor Money"
Author: Maureen F. McHugh
Length: unknown (read in print book)
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Sci Fiction, 2003
Rating:
Link: N/A
Also available as free podcast here: http://podcastle.org/2008/12/10/pc036-ancestor-money/

In this story, Rachel has been living her afterlife, where it's always a summer morning, for 70 years, when she receives a letter telling her that she can claim an ancestor offering in Hong Kong -- well, the afterlife Hong Kong.

I loved the first few pages of this story, but it felt a little random and flat after that.

25amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:02 pm

19. (19 in January) - January 19, 2016 - "Super Goat Man" by Jonathan Lethem. Published as reprint in The Secret History of Fantasy, Tachyon Publications, 2010. Read 01-27-16.

Story # 19

Title: "Super Goat Man"
Author: Jonathan Lethem
Length: 6,923 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: New Yorker, April 2004
Rating:
Link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/04/05/super-goat-man

Oh dear, I really disliked this. It seems to me that the fantastical element -- that the former "star" of a short-run comic really exists as the Super Goat Man -- was completely unnecessary for what this story was really about, which was the rather mean-spirited narrator not being able to deal with the fact that his parents have lives too. I also felt that the last line, although cutting, did not have quite the impact that the author may have intended.

26amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:20 pm

Story # 20

Title: "The Shutdown"
Author: Marge Simon
Length: 225 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-28
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/marge-simon/the-s...

I tend to think that a story of only 225 words would probably be better off tackling either censorship or domestic violence, but not both.

27amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:02 pm

Story # 21

Title: "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut"
Author: Stephen King
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (?) (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Redbook, 1984
Rating:
Link: N/A

I liked the idea behind this story -- in which Homer, an old caretaker, reminisces about Mrs. Todd, who always looked for shortcuts and ways to fold the world like map -- but it went on and on. Even the story's narrator, who is listening, has lengthy asides when he tells little tangential tales.

282wonderY
Jan 28, 2016, 5:33 pm

Ha! Just found your thread. I plan to read along. The first two I read (#2 & #3) were delightful.

29amysisson
Jan 28, 2016, 5:51 pm

Hey, thanks for stopping by!

I'm behind this year, after doing so well last year! But I've been trying to make up for some lost time the past few days. I'm determined to be caught up by Jan. 31.

30amysisson
Editado: Maio 13, 2016, 3:14 pm

Story # 22

Title: "By Degrees and Dilatory Time"
Author: S.L. Huang
Length: 4,088 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2015-05-18
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2015/20150518/dilatory-f.shtml

This is a quiet, extremely thoughtful story about a young man who must get artificial eyes due to cancer, at a time when some people choose to get them for occupational or even just aesthetic reasons. In my mind, the story gently makes two main points: we are surprising in our capacity to adapt, and people need to decide for themselves whether they're willing to be the face of a political stand, especially when their participation is assumed based on something they can't control.

If I'm not explaining that well, I'm thinking of, for instance, when Tiger Woods said he didn't want to be the face of the protest against that last private golf club that still technically excludes African Americans.

I'm glad I read this.

31amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:21 pm

Story # 23

Title: "Tin and Mercury, Gilt and Glass"
Author: Lane Robins
Length: 1,560 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-29
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fantasy/lane-robins/tin-and-mercury-gilt-...

At first I thought this list-format story, in which a man recounts 42 facts about his wife, was straight-forward. Then I was pleasantly surprised. Then I was disappointed by the explanation.

More specifically, a man realizes his wife is actually working at being average, so he hires a private detective, thinking she might be a spy. But it turns out she was a "silver lady," created by an alchemist in 17th century France. The sudden inclusion of magic bothered me, and the fingerprints that the detective found embedded in vases made in the 1800s were awfully convenient. I would have preferred if she were a robot or alien, honestly.

32elenchus
Jan 29, 2016, 9:42 am

>31 amysisson:

Fascinating premise: so many others would go in such different directions when speculating on a "superior being" living among us.

33amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:03 pm

Story # 24

Title: "Bones"
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (mainstream/literary)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Rose and the Beast (collection), 2001
Rating:
Link: N/A

Alas, this story about a young woman who has just escaped from someone who may or may not be a modern day Bluebeard/serial killer was all style and little substance for me.

34amysisson
Editado: Jan 31, 2016, 10:22 pm

Story # 25

Title: "Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs"
Author: Leonard Richardson
Length: 3,883 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2009-07-13
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2009/20090713/dinosaurs-f.shtml

I did not get most of the humor in this story at all. It's about dinosaurs that eventually escaped Earth to go live on Mars, and have come back but don't fit in well with human culture. A lot of it felt like stream-of-consciousness to me.

35amysisson
Jan 31, 2016, 7:35 pm

Story # 26

Title: "The Sharing Series"
Author: Janet Savage
Length: 415 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-01-12
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/the-sharing-series-by-janet-savage/

This piece of microfiction didn't work for me at all. Like other readers who commented on the story at the website, I wondered how everything rested on the narrator being able to borrow a typewriter. I know it's supposed to be a metaphor for something more important, but she couldn't just use the typewriter in her boyfriend's room, if he didn't want to let it out of his sight?

36amysisson
Jan 31, 2016, 10:13 pm

Story # 27

Title: "The Retelling of Jeremiah"
Author: Kelly Sandoval
Length: 995 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2016-01
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-retelling-of-jeremiah/

This flash piece about the power of books reminded me a little too much of similar stories, such as I Remember the Future by Michael A. Burstein. They're different in a lot of ways, to be sure, but I do feel I've read a lot of books about stress and emotional distance in a family because one person finds books and stores "magical" (literally or figuratively) while others don't. The daughter being too tired to allow her father to visit for Christmas seemed a little predictable to me.

37amysisson
Jan 31, 2016, 10:32 pm

Story # 28

Title: "Live Forever"
Author: Anton Rose
Length: 996 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2016-01
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/3510/

This mainstream flash story kind of left me cold. I didn't find anything to like about the main character, and I didn't think that he underwent any profound change. It reminded me a little of the Buffy, The Vampire Slayer episode that everyone else loved so much but I didn't. It was called "The Body," I think, and was about everybody's numbness when Buffy's mother died. The episode went overboard demonstrating an exaggerated version of every textbook reaction to death, mainly through numbness. I felt numb after that episode, all right, but not in the way that was intended! That sounds snarkier than I intend to as relates to this short story, but it unfortunately didn't do anything for me.

38amysisson
Fev 1, 2016, 10:24 pm

Story # 29

Title: "Snow Crab Knife"
Author: Christopher Shultz
Length: 993 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Freeze Frame Fiction
When Published: unknown
Rating:
Link: http://freezeframefiction.com/read/q7-flash-fiction/snow-crab-knife-by-christoph...

I thought this was an effective piece about schizophrenia. I felt that it went on a touch longer than necessary, and I was a little confused about which voice was which a few of the times. Still, a chilling piece.

39amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2016, 10:01 am

Story # 30

Title: "Insert Line: Goodbye Mom, Goodbye Dad"
Author: Joshua P'ng
Length: 502 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-02-02
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/clones/joshua-p-ng/insert-line-go...

This is an effective little piece about clones and love and grief. I would have given it 3 1/2 or even 4 stars except that it had at least three grammar errors and one instance where "I" was erroneously substituted for "they." These things really should have been caught in editing.

40amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:03 pm

Story # 31

Title: "The Book of Martha"
Author: Octavia Butler
Length: 7,164 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Sci Fiction, 2003
Rating:
Link: This is available in the Academic Search Complete database, to which many public libraries subscribe.

This reminded me a lot of Sheri Tepper's Gibbon's Decline and Fall, in that the main character ends up having to decide the fate of humanity by changing something integral in their reality. I didn't really care for this; I could see that it was thoughtful, but it felt more like a conversational think-piece than a story.

41amysisson
Fev 2, 2016, 2:01 pm

January's blog post about my favorites of the month:

http://amysreviews.blogspot.com/2016/02/short-fiction-january-2016.html

42amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:03 pm

Story # 32

Title: "Fruit and Words"
Author: Aimee Bender
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Mid-American Review, Fall 2001
Rating:
Link: N/A

This piece started out so promising. A woman stuck in Vegas when her fiance bails finds herself inexplicably craving mangoes, and finds a fruit stand in the middle of the desert that sells not just fruit but also words -- strange, strange words. But it sort of devolved into randomness as far as I was concerned.

43elenchus
Fev 2, 2016, 4:18 pm

I am guessing: mangoes = man goes? Even if that wasn't was going on with Bender's story, it seems clever to think of it after reading your review. So I'll go away now, feeling clever.

44amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2016, 6:35 pm

>43 elenchus:

You know what, that could very well be! It's that kind of story.

;-)

45elenchus
Fev 2, 2016, 11:21 pm

I was inspired to find something online, and got a partial Amazon book preview from Willful Creatures. It seemed pretty random, yes, but tantalising in that way that prods at me, as if there's something I'm not quite getting. But then I reached the limit of my preview, as she was heading out of the gases room (having broken HOPE). Ah well.

46amysisson
Fev 3, 2016, 4:43 pm

Story # 33

Title: "May Dreams Shelter Us"
Author: Kate O’Connor
Length: 1,975 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2016-02-01
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-12-may-dreams-shelter-us-by-kate-oconn...

This is a decent science fiction tale about a woman risking her own life/sanity by caring for embryos after Earth has been inexplicably destroyed. It was perhaps a little too earnest for my personal taste, and I felt the POV change at the end was predictable.

47amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 3:03 pm

Story # 34

Title: "Mythago Wood"
Author: Robert Holdstock
Length: est. 15,500-16,500 words (based on sample page counts)
Category: Novelette (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, edited by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: F&SF, September 1981
Rating:
Link: N/A

I am still not 100% sure whether I should be calling this a novelette or a novella. I am going by Hugo Award categories, which is novelette from 7,500 to 17,500 words, and novella from 17,500 to 40,000 words. Wikipedia calls this a novella, but they may be basing it on World Fantasy Award categories, which only has short story (up to 10,000 words) and novella (from 10,000 to 40,000 words). If only I had an accurate word count, I would just go with the Hugo category. I had to resign myself to counting words on two pages as samples.

How I hate incomplete information!

Anyway, this story is beautifully written, but I found I enjoyed the "mundane" parts of it far more than the fantastical elements. A man returns from WWII to his family home somewhere in the U.K., only to find that his brother has now taken up the same obsession that his father had before them: mapping and exploring the primeval woods bordering the property.

This was later turned into a full-length novel, and indeed a series. I'm not interested enough to read further, I'm afraid.

Oddly, the reminded me very much of the much-later-written first book in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation. Same fluctuating "borders" around a mysterious region, characters obsessed and eventually following one another in, same lack of answers....

48elenchus
Fev 4, 2016, 2:34 pm

Fascinating, wonder if VanderMeer was aware of it. I'm vaguely aware that he is quite conversant with Weird literature, which sometimes includes Fantasy and SF genres. I've not read any of Southern Reach, not actively seeking it out but it may cross my path on its own, as it were.

In any case, I love the premise. Not familiar with Holdstock, whether this short fiction or the novels / series.

49amysisson
Fev 4, 2016, 5:37 pm

>48 elenchus:

Sadly, Annihilation really didn't work for me. Too many unanswered questions, and I didn't feel confident that readings the second and third books would answer them.

Ironically, there are no answers in the next story I'm about to post below -- in fact, the fact that there aren't answers is largely the point -- but I loved it.

50amysisson
Fev 4, 2016, 5:40 pm

Story # 35

Title: "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss"
Author: Kij Johnson
Length: 4,000 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: The Secret History of Fantasy (anthology, Tachyon Publications)
When Published: 2010
Original Publication: Asimov's, July 2008
Rating:
Link: http://www.kijjohnson.com/26_monkeys.htm

Yes, I'm quite aware I'm coming very late to the party on this story, but Oh My God. I would not change a single thing about this story. I think I was about to read it once long ago, and maybe was turned off by thinking it was a list format story. It is and it isn't. It has an unusual structure, but the numbers are really mini-chapter numbers rather than a list in the way we've become used to them in genre short fiction.

In any case, Aimee owns and travels with a performing monkey show -- a quite unusual one. Highly recommended.

51amysisson
Fev 5, 2016, 2:48 pm

Story # 36

Title: "In the Loop"
Author: Ken Liu
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Warrior Women (anthology, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: War Stories: New Military Science Fiction (anthology, edited by Jaym Gates & Andrew Liptak, Apex Publications, 2014)
Rating:
Link: N/A

This is a well-constructed story about a young woman whose life choices are based on witnessing the PTSD her father suffered as a military drone operator. She takes a job with a company seeking to completely roboticize drones so that future military personnel won't suffer the way her father did.

I think this is a good story, but I didn't enjoy reading it, precisely. It's not that it was too grim for me, and it's an important topic, but I feel like it was preaching to the choir for me. I don't think it provided any new angles for me, but it might do so for other readers. It reminds me of seeing the movie The Accused, in which Jodi Foster is gang-raped in a bar while onlookers cheer. I felt like I was supposed to see that movie because it was important, but I didn't enjoy it, and again, there was nothing new in it for me.

52elenchus
Fev 5, 2016, 6:06 pm

>50 amysisson:

Goodness. That is a wondrous, beautiful story, and there's that element of inevitability to it all, especially the ending, despite being nothing I was expecting.

Fearless prediction: you will not read a story this year better than that one. It will be good to see if I'm wrong.

53amysisson
Fev 6, 2016, 1:37 pm

>52 elenchus:

You may well be right!

The story I just read was terrific (I'll post about it shortly), but it's a terrific fun and clever story, not a profound story like 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss.

54amysisson
Fev 6, 2016, 1:45 pm

Story # 37

Title: "43 Responses to 'In Memory of Dr. Alexandra Nako'"
Author: Barbara A. Barnett
Length: 1,372 words
Category: Short story (science fiction/fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-02-05
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/religious/barbara-a-barnett/43-responses-...

This piece is very clever and, in my opinion, laugh-out-loud funny in a few spots. It gets the world of online "comments" just right, while allowing an actual story to unfold. Well done!

55amysisson
Editado: Fev 11, 2016, 10:42 am

Story # 38

Title: "Dying with Her Cheer Pants On"
Author: Seanan McGuire
Length: 3,131 words
Category: Short story (science fiction/fantasy)
Where Published: Warrior Women (anthology, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: Apex, April 2010
Rating:
Link: http://www.apex-magazine.com/dying-with-her-cheer-pants-on/

I was so ready to love this story, with the tongue-in-cheek look at high school cheerleaders turned unlikely warriors during an alien invasion. But the story took a turn for the even-more-ludicrous when the cheerleaders' solution is to sacrifice themselves in order to invoke Bloody Mary -- yes, the one where you look into a mirror and say her name x number of times.... This was firmly a science fiction story up until that point. I'm afraid the story was completely ruined for me. Not only do I have to believe that Bloody Mary is real, I have to believe that these cheerleaders knew she was real.

56amysisson
Editado: Fev 11, 2016, 10:38 am

Story # 39

Title: "The Opening of the Bayou Saint John"
Author: Shawn Scarber
Length: 3,885 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2016-02-08
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2016/20160208/bayou-f.shtml

This is a lovely atmospheric story about a bayou woman who transports stillborn children to another place, when requested to do so by grieving mothers willing to defy convention.

57amysisson
Editado: Fev 16, 2016, 3:17 pm

Story # 40

Title: "Boy Twelve"
Author: Jessica Reisman
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Warrior Women (anthology, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: Interzone, Nov/Dec 2005
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, a ocean salvager on a space-station sea is caught off-guard when her brother sends a clone of her dead lover to deliver a message.

This was inventive and interesting, and as usual, I enjoy this author's world-building tremendously. I did find it a little difficult at times to parse names (both people and places) and slang, and I wonder if there wasn't a bit too much important backstory for a piece of this length.

58amysisson
Fev 16, 2016, 4:25 pm

Story # 41

Title: "Tomorrow's World"
Author: Aimee Ogden
Length: 1,377 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-02-12
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/other-worlds-fantasy/aimee-ogden/tomorrow...

This is nicely written, about a revolutionary university student who keeps trying to convince a prostitute to take up his cause. It's set in a fantasy world, although doesn't necessarily need to be. I liked this quite a bit, but I'm not sure how long it will stick with me.

59amysisson
Fev 17, 2016, 4:56 pm

Story # 42

Title: "Mold"
Author: Richard Mirabella
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (YA / mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2016-01
Rating:
Link: N/A

I'm afraid this mainstream YA story seemed a bit pointless to me. It's from the point of view of a gay teenaged boy who is a little bit attracted to his mother's new boyfriend. That boyfriend is driven away by the disgusting, unhealthy mold that the mother and son have let grow unchecked in their house for years.

60amysisson
Editado: Fev 18, 2016, 2:51 pm

Story # 43

Title: "They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain"
Author: Rachael Acks
Length: 4,103 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Warrior Women (anthology, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: Lightspeed, December 2014
Rating:
Link: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/tell-will-no-pain/

This is a well-written, intense story about a discharged female soldier/drone operator suffering from PTSD and guilt. I didn't feel it particularly covered new territory -- even just within the scope of this anthology -- but I found it effective, particularly the ending.

61amysisson
Editado: Fev 19, 2016, 1:32 pm

Story # 44

Title: "Wonder Maul Doll"
Author: Kameron Hurley
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Warrior Women (anthology, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: From the Trenches: An Anthology of Speculative War Stories (anthology, edited by Joseph Paul Haines and Samantha Henderson, Carnifex Press), 2006
Rating:
Link: (podcast version) http://escapepod.org/2009/07/19/ep207-wonder-maul-doll/

I'm afraid I didn't care for this at all. It's meant to be a gritty story about an all-female military unit that is sweeping the countryside around Pekoi, looking for proof of something. They kills a bunch of people, maybe get attacked by bugs (but I'm not sure how literal we're meant to take things), kill a few innocent girls = they do NOT find the proof, but the "brains" decide to pretend it's proof anyway and seemingly nuke the whole place from orbit because it's the only way to be sure. I'm being more sarcastic than I should be, but I honestly couldn't tell whether this had to do with plague, genetic engineering, bio-weapons, or something else. The point seemed to be grittiness and bugs.

Also, the title, and what it referred to within the story, made it seem like this was one of those writing challenges that gives you three unrelated words out of which you have to create a story.

62amysisson
Fev 19, 2016, 2:49 pm

Story # 45

Title: "Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 6,200 words (approx.)
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Lightspeed
When Published: 2015-09
Rating:
Link: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/seven-wonders-of-a-once-and-future-wor...

This is a rich, far-future science fiction story about a woman who dreams of traveling to far-off worlds. The story is structured in sections, each one explaining the origin of a different "wonder of the world." I liked the circular nature of the story, although there were no surprises there, but the scope was so vast that I was not as emotionally engaged as I would have liked, and some of the elements felt a little random to me. The story is well worth reading, however.

63amysisson
Fev 19, 2016, 6:39 pm

Story # 46

Title: "The Shapes Of Us, Translucent To Your Eye"
Author: Rose Lemberg
Length: 1,502 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Unlikely Story: The Journal of Unlikely Academia
When Published: 2015-10
Rating:
Link: http://www.unlikely-story.com/stories/the-shapes-of-us-translucent-to-your-eye-b...

This story may or may not be fantasy, depending upon whether we're meant to take the transparent, translucent students literally. Which I think we are, but that's what actually made the story not work for me terribly well, because it wasn't explained whether these transparent students were a known thing, or something only the main character could see, etc. I think the main point is that non-inclusive language erases people, and that higher education is failing everybody in different ways. I agree, but the story was a little too heavy-handed for my taste.

64amysisson
Editado: Maio 13, 2016, 3:19 pm

Story # 47

Title: "The Weight of a Blessing"
Author: Aliette de Bodard
Length: 5,611 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Clarkesworld Year Seven (anthology, edited by Neil Clarke & Sean Wallace, Wyrm Publishing)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: Clarkesworld , March 2013
Rating:
Link: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/debodard_03_13/

I'm afraid I found this both heavy-handed and a bit confusing. My confusion was as to the specifics of the political situation (I think this is part of a larger universe the author has created) and to what we were and were not supposed to take literally in terms of the dead ancestors. I couldn't even really tell what crime the daughter had committed.

65amysisson
Fev 22, 2016, 10:10 am

Story # 48

Title: "Android One"
Author: Richard Ankers
Length: 434 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-02-22
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/robots-and-computers/richard-anke...

Oh dear, for a story this short (434 words!), it's surprising that it rubbed me the wrong way so much. I found it quite overwrought, and it seemed like word choices were made for effect even if they didn't make a lot of sense. For instance, "The robots, those comprised of metal and microchips, wafted in as a sirocco breeze...." I find it hard to imagine clanky metal beings "wafting." Another example: "Be it the closing of a fridge door to shatter the fingers within...." I know what was literally meant, but this makes it sound like someone was storing fingers inside the fridge! I mean, I don't think of my fingers being "within" the fridge door when I'm getting food.

66amysisson
Fev 22, 2016, 1:32 pm

Story # 49

Title: "Trickier with Each Translation"
Author: Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Length: 5,600 words (approx.)
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Queers Destroy Science Fiction/Lightspeed
When Published: 2015-06
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story is about time travel and superheroes and what it might be like to have loved both men and women. It's full of lovely, haunting details. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for time travel stories, and it amazes me how one that's well-written can still bring something new to the table.

67amysisson
Fev 23, 2016, 2:13 pm

Story # 50

Title: "The Urashima Effect"
Author: E. Lily Yu
Length: 3,483 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Clarkesworld Year Seven (anthology, edited by Neil Clarke & Sean Wallace, Wyrm Publishing)
When Published: 2015
Original Publication: Clarkesworld , June 2013
Rating:
Link: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/yu_06_13/

I enjoy stories about relativistic time effects, and thought this was well-written, but I was never able to buy into several of the details that made up this scenario. It was never explained why the main character needed to be awakened mid-journey, especially when it was known to have drastic pscyhological effects. It wasn't clear to me why anybody would ever send a person on one of these trips alone, and I had trouble believing that relations between the U.S. and Japan went from no-trouble-mentioned to threat of internment camps within a few weeks. I'm also not a fan of the fable-within-a-story set-up, as I find it a heavy-handed way of writing. I feel as though as a reader, I'm supposed to think "Oh my, that was profound!" but I really dislike the cadences and generic language of fairy tales.

68amysisson
Editado: Fev 24, 2016, 2:07 pm

Story # 51

Title: "Ants on a Trestle"
Author: Elliotte Rusty Harold
Length: 5,990 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Crossed Genres
When Published: 2015-09
Rating:
Link: http://crossedgenres.com/magazine/033-ants-on-a-trestle/

This is one of the three stories in Crossed Genre's issue with the theme "2065" (meaning the year). In this story, a university entomologist is contacted by the corporation that owns "trestles," which is the high speed transportation system that gets people from one side of the planet to the other quickly. Turns out that even though the trestles are on the edge of space, an ant species appears to be thriving there, and are interfering with the system.

This was competently written and the author clearly knows about ants, but I just didn't find the story engaging and didn't find a character or situation that I cared about terribly much. The stakes never seemed high to me, in part because I would have thought a problem with these kinds of global implications would have been brought to someone more important than a non-tenured university professor. The story says:

"If she couldn’t figure out how to control the ants, the world would resume burning things for energy, with all the damage that entailed, and no one would ever see the stars from the ground again."

Well, no. If humans couldn't figure out how to control the ants, that might be a problem. But the story gives us no reason to believe that this woman is the Earth's last, best hope. We aren't even explicitly told that the corporation needs to keep this a secret.

I was also slightly put off by the following, which to me feels like the author is trying too hard for a tone or a voice or some characterization:

“Don’t ask me. You’re the ant girl. I’m just an engineer.”

Ant woman, Daphne almost corrected him, but she bit her tongue. She couldn’t afford to piss off her ride home, not when the nearest station was a kilometer south and a hundred kilometers down.


Well, no. This corporate guy isn't going to strand her in space because she insists on being called a woman instead of a girl, especially when his company apparently needs her (and only her) to solve this problem.

In the end, problem solved, and Daphene gets tenure. Whereas I would think she'd be a permanent, private, and very rich consultant for this company instead. That's not to say that some folks wouldn't take the high ground and stay in academia -- but the character's description doesn't suggest she's one of those people. Unless I missed it, she never once alludes to feeling excited about this new development in her field, and she never mentions having a single colleague or graduate student that she respects, so why stay in academia? Not only can this company make her rich, it can provide all the research opportunities she wants, in case money is not her motivation.

69amysisson
Fev 24, 2016, 2:36 pm

Story # 52

Title: "The Magician’s Assistant"
Author: Paul Crenshaw
Length: 813 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2016-02
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-magicians-assistant/

This is a sort of melancholy flash piece about a magician who takes his assistant for granted. Nicely written but I'm not sure it will stay with me.

70amysisson
Editado: Fev 24, 2016, 6:09 pm

Story # 53

Title: "The Missing Finger of Jerry Garcia"
Author: Jon Allison
Length: 966 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Freeze Frame Fiction
When Published: unknown
Rating:
Link: http://freezeframefiction.com/read/q7-flash-fiction/the-missing-finger-of-jerry-...

Um, wow? And unfortunately not in a good way.

71amysisson
Fev 25, 2016, 11:54 am

Story # 54

Title: "Boy Seeds"
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Length: 1,770 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2011-02-14
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/nina-kiriki-hoffman/boy-s...

This was a fun and inventive story about an apparent all-female colony where girls are required to grow first pets and then boys that they will have to care for and later discard, all to teach them how to be "maximum healthful" family and society members later. My only complaint is that the story felt slightly too short and/or incomplete -- I would have liked to see more.

72amysisson
Editado: Mar 1, 2016, 8:39 pm

Story # 55

Title: "Calved"
Author: Sam J. Miller
Length: 5,407 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Asimov's
When Published: 2015-09
Rating:
Link: http://samjmiller.com/publications/calved/

This is a thoughtful and well-written story about a New York city refugee in Greenland in a post-sea level rise world. He's trying to connect, after returning from yet another iceberg-harvesting gig, with his teenaged son. I liked the story, but for me it felt like it was a tiny bit heavy-handed, and that the ending was telegraphed from a mile away.

73amysisson
Editado: Fev 25, 2016, 5:03 pm

Story # 56

Title: "Town of Cats"
Author: Haruki Murakami
Length: 7,716 words
Category: Short story (literary / science fiction / fantasy)
Where Published: New Yorker
When Published: 2011-09-05
Rating:
Link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/09/05/town-of-cats?currentPage=all

Within a few paragraphs, I recognized this short story as an excerpt from the author's novel 1Q84, which I read and enjoyed a few years ago. I went ahead and read this through, and I have to say that it really didn't work for me as a short story. It's all telling without showing, and it contains the dreaded story-within-a-story that's supposed to be so very meaningful.

I came across this on a list of "best" short stories from the New Yorker. I'll probably check more of them out. List: http://www.ew.com/article/2014/07/21/new-yorker-best-short-stories

74amysisson
Fev 29, 2016, 2:08 pm

Story # 57

Title: "A Cure Over Coffee"
Author: Pontius Paiva
Length: 911 words
Category: Short story (Science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-02-29
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/future-societies/pontius-paiva/a-...

I'm afraid this story, about pills to fix everything, didn't work for me. I thought it was a little heavy-handed, and the ending was definitely telegraphed.

75amysisson
Editado: Mar 1, 2016, 8:38 pm

Story # 58

Title: "A Room for Lost Things"
Author: Chloe N. Clark
Length: 1,559 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2015-09-01
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-7-a-room-for-lost-things-by-chloe-n-cl...

I'm afraid I was disappointed by this story. I found the prose style to be somewhat plodding, with many short sentences and a lot of word repetition. For instance, a 121-word paragraph uses the word "music" five times, while a 167-word paragraph uses the word "door" six times. I'm not suggesting that an author should bend over backwards to find uncommon synonyms for normal words, but prose can be constructed in such a way that they don't unnecessarily repeat words in consecutive sentences.

76amysisson
Mar 1, 2016, 10:46 am

Story # 59

Title: "Chatter Monkey"
Author: Caroline Couderc
Length: 486 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-01
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/caroline-couderc/chatter-m...

I might have considered rating this at 1/4 stars if that were allowed. The plot of this micro-piece is wholly unoriginal, the prose is clunky, and the story has both grammar errors and typos.

77amysisson
Mar 1, 2016, 11:11 am

Story # 60

Title: "Music"
Author: Anna Zumbro
Length: 704 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Freeze Frame Fiction
When Published:
Rating:
Link: http://freezeframefiction.com/read/q7-flash-fiction/music-by-anna-zumbro/

This is a mainstream piece about a boy who hears context-appropriate music in his head. Nicely written, but not much in the way of story.

78amysisson
Mar 1, 2016, 1:47 pm

Story # 61

Title: "Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 2,114 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Lightspeed
When Published: 2016-03
Rating:
Link: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/welcome-to-the-medical-clinic-at-the-i...

This is an adorable, funny choose-your-own adventure sci-fi piece that breaks the fourth wall a couple of times. Quite enjoyable.

79amysisson
Editado: Mar 6, 2016, 5:47 pm

Story # 62

Title: "Octopussy"
Author: Ian Fleming
Length: 11,700 words (estimated based on sample page count)
Category: Novelette (thriller)
Where Published: Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories (audiobook collection, Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. and Blackstone Audio, narrated by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: Daily Express (serialized, October 1965)
Rating:
Link: N/A

Well, this was a double revelation. The first was this: Holy cow, Tom Hiddleston is an amazing narrator! I saw an online clip of him doing impressions of Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and others, which was my first clue. Then I think someone online mentioned listening to Hiddleston's narration of a J.G. Ballard novel. So I thought getting this audio collection would be doubly fun, to see how Hiddleston narrates, and to see if any of the Bond fiction appeals to me as much as the Daniel Craig films.

The second revelation was this: Who know (well, I'm sure a lot of people on LT did!) that Ian Fleming was not merely writing action novels, but also some very in-depth characterization, and not just on Bond. In fact, in Octopussy we get very little of Bond; he mainly serves as the reason for Major Dexter Smythe to reflect on his past misdeeds.

In any case, this was truly enjoyable. This collection also includes "The Property of a Lady", "The Living Daylights", and "007 in New York". That last is narrated not by Hiddleston but by Lucy Fleming, British actress and niece of the author. I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the collection.

I'd love to listen to more audio by Tom Hiddleston, but I'm not sure I'm up for a J.G. Ballard novel.

80amysisson
Mar 2, 2016, 3:42 pm

Story # 63

Title: "Ajdenia"
Author: Natalia Theodoridou
Length: 858 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2016-03-02
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7592/full/531134a.html

This is a well-written short piece about a man who works as a sort of custodian in an underground habitat or bunker or some kind. I liked it, but I think my reading of it was harmed by the fact that I read Hugh Howey's Wool so recently -- I just saw too many similarities.

81amysisson
Editado: Mar 6, 2016, 5:51 pm

Story # 64

Title: "The Property of a Lady"
Author: Ian Fleming
Length: 8,700 words (estimated based on sample page count)
Category: Novelette (thriller)
Where Published: Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories (audiobook collection, Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. and Blackstone Audio, narrated by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: The Ivory Hammer, Sotheby's, 1963
Rating:
Link: N/A

While I enjoyed Tom Hiddleston's narration just as much as I did in "Octopussy," this story wasn't particularly good. It is brought to M's and 007's attention that an extremely valuable Fabergé piece (not an egg) has been sent to a young woman as an inheritance, but it's actually payment by the Russian government for her services working as a mole inside MI6.

Which MI6 realized was the case when she took a leave of absence for a year to go to spy school.

Ouch.

I did like the idea of MI6 deliberately feeding false intel to a known mole, but the rest of the story just stretched credulity, especially the fact that James was so certain that the bigwig Russian spy in London would absolutely be the only one to show up at the auction.

I would have given this only two stars. The extra half is a bonus for the narration.

82elenchus
Mar 3, 2016, 2:17 pm

>81 amysisson:

Two stars, you mean?

I've always liked the Bond 007 film franchise, though I actually watch it less frequently or less enrapt than in my youth. And I've long wanted to read the Fleming stories, though to date I've read only one novel, Thunderball. I was intrigued at how different the two experiences were, watching Bond through a plot compared to reading through it with him. They're very different animals, these two, despite the range of actors and tones the various film installments have: so much more interiority and criticism in Fleming, and Bond is so much less likeable. Reading your reviews here has reminded me of that.

83amysisson
Mar 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

>82 elenchus:

Yes, that should have been two instead of four -- fixed now!

And a world of yes -- reading Bond and watching Bond are unbelievably different. I can't believe how detailed the prose is, especially in its descriptions of people's actions, intonations, and expressions.

You might want to think about watching Daniel Craig's four Bond films in a row -- it's literally one story, although they can be watched alone. In particular, the second, Quantum of Solace, picks up minutes after Casino Royale ends. There is quite a big, unspecified time gap between Quantum and Skyfall, though -- there must be, as Bond goes from newly promoted to 00 status to washed-up rather quickly. But it's still tied in. And I adore what they did with Moneypenny and Q.

84elenchus
Mar 3, 2016, 2:47 pm

I actually have seen the Craig films (not the most recent), but always on DVD and years after release. That's the big difference, as a boy I'd have rushed off to the cinema to see them immediately. Somehow, I'm not compelled to do that.

I do think the Craig films are some of the best, and he's not an actor I seek out. I also adore the Moneypenny and Q reboots! And that's another reason to want to read the Fleming originals: what were they like in the books?!

85amysisson
Mar 3, 2016, 2:56 pm

Story # 65

Title: "When Last We Left"
Author: Andrew Kozma
Length: 293 words
Category: Short story (???)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-03
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/andrew-kozma/when-last-...

I'm having difficulty making sense of this, and in trying to understand how this is a story.

I feel like I'm seeing a pattern at DSF this week. I have not been enjoying their stories as much, and they seem, on average, shorter than usual.

86amysisson
Editado: Mar 6, 2016, 5:48 pm

Story # 66

Title: "The Living Daylights"
Author: Ian Fleming
Length: 8,700 words (estimated based on sample page count)
Category: Novelette (thriller)
Where Published: Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories (audiobook collection, Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. and Blackstone Audio, narrated by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: The Sunday Times, February 1962
Rating:
Link: N/A

I enjoyed this story -- of the four in this collection, it felt the most Bond-like to me, and of course, Hiddleston's narration continues to delight. Bond is sent to West Berlin to try to kill a sniper as that sniper tries to kill a British agent trying to escape back to the West. As Bond lays in wait each evening for three days, he sees the members of a female orchestra walking rehearsal; naturally, the beautiful blond cellist turns out to be the sniper, and Bond deliberately injures rather than kills her. He even expresses hope that this will get his double-0 status revoked. I knew this was coming based on the film The Living Daylights, even though the film changed it up a bit.

87amysisson
Editado: Mar 6, 2016, 5:51 pm

Story # 67

Title: "007 in New York"
Author: Ian Fleming
Length: 2,100 words (estimated based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (thriller)
Where Published: Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories (audiobook collection, Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. and Blackstone Audio, narrated by Tom Hiddleston and Lucy Fleming)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: The New York Herald Tribune, October 1963
Rating:
Link: N/A

This was the least successful of the four stories in the collection in my opinion. Lucy Fleming's narration was fine, but there was almost no story -- which makes sense as Fleming deliberately wanted to write something positive about New York from Bond's POV, after having written/published a less-than-flattering piece about New York. (This contrasts slightly with the Wikipedia entry on this story collection, but was contained in Lucy Fleming's introduction to the story in the audiobook collection.)

In any case, Bond must go to New York to warn a former female MI6 agent that her new boyfriend is a Russian agent. He thinks about what he wants to do in New York and describes an egg recipe. (Really.)

88amysisson
Mar 5, 2016, 2:14 pm

Story # 68

Title: "Making the Cut"
Author: Jeffrey How
Length: 4,000 (estimated based on sample word count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2016-02
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story is about a teen with a degree of survivors' guilt whose three closest friends recently died in a preventable tragedy. It's told via flashbacks interspersed with the present events, including two of the boys' funeral. The main reason I didn't care for this is that it felt like it was being narrated by an adult rather than a teen. It also felt like it was going for a Stand by Me vibe but didn't achieve it. The twins who died also seemed cliched; they were dumb and arrogant, and one was always echoing the other in an effort to sound tough.

89amysisson
Mar 5, 2016, 2:59 pm

Story # 69

Title: "Bolt"
Author: David Elzey
Length: 4,400 (estimated based on sample word count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2015-11
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, teenager Cy suffers an abusive father who can't, or more likely won't, give him any information about his long-since-gone mother. Cy has begun planning an escape when he makes friends with Nova, a girl who along with her sister lives with foster parents.

This was fairly well written, but I didn't find it satisfying as a story -- it was a little too much a "vignette" for my taste, and I didn't feel it covered much in the way of new ground.

90amysisson
Editado: Mar 6, 2016, 11:30 pm

Story # 70

Title: "What's In The Blend"
Author: K.C. Norton
Length: 1,419 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-04
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/k-c-norton/whats-...

(summary/notes to be added)

91amysisson
Mar 7, 2016, 2:03 pm

Story # 71

Title: "One's Company"
Author: Davian Aw
Length: 1,180 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2016-03-02
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-13-ones-company-by-davian-aw/

This short piece didn't really work for me. A man finds an isolated planet that will never be settled, then begins populating it with himself by time traveling in such a way that all his selves arrive at relatively the same time. It's more about loneliness and shyness than anything else, and I liked that part of it, but I didn't care for the ending, which seemed both predictable and confusing.

I also was bothered by a very small detail in the first line of the story:

He finds a forest clearing on a planet of perpetual night in the two hours out of a thousand years that stars spread twinkling across its sky.

The sentence is written in such a way as to imply that there is only two hours every thousand years when this happens. Yet we later find out that it's cloud cover, as opposed to anything to do with planetary alignments or galactic phenomenon. And I wouldn't think cloud cover would be so predictable that you would know you'd get two hours of clear skies every thousand years.

I think it's just meant to be coincidental -- that by chance, there happens to be a couple of hours of clear skies when the character arrives, and he may not know that that's a special thing. But I'm not sure. In any event, this momentous bit of information then sort of falls by the wayside, which makes it feel as though it was put there in the first sentence for science fictional effect, or window dressing.

92amysisson
Mar 8, 2016, 11:05 am

Story # 72

Title: "Let There Be Light"
Author: Chen Qiufan, translated from Chinese by Ken Liu
Length: 1,304 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-08
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/future-societies/chen-qiufan-tran...

This translated piece is an excerpt from the author's debut novel The Waste Tide. I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this piece; it felt heavy-handed and generic to me. It's a personal pet peeve, but just as I dislike fantasy stories that says "and the empire rules for a thousand generations" (really? exactly a thousand?), I dislike large, rounded numbers in science fiction stories. For me, they turn the story into a fable or a morality tale, rather than a story I can conceive of as real. Here are some examples from this work:

Three hundred thousand windows automatically lit up; the smart sensors understood the moods of the men and women coming home and automatically adjusted the temperature, the color of the lighting, the channels showing on the TVs, or the music playing through the sound systems; five thousand restaurants received automatically generated take-out orders;....

The offices in the skyscrapers were lit bright as day. The giant eye zoomed in and observed a hundred thousand faces staring at computer monitors through closed-circuit cameras;....

Unfortunately, I'm completely emotionally removed from anything I might have found in this story.

93amysisson
Editado: Mar 10, 2016, 2:41 pm

Story # 73

Title: "Shovelware"
Author: Bogi Takács
Length: 940 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2016-03-10
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7593/full/531268a.html

I liked this short piece, about an Hungarian refugee and artist who becomes friend with a woman who uses lucid dreaming to design video games in her sleep. I'm not sure exactly what I liked about it, but the writing seemed natural and comfortable with itself.

94amysisson
Mar 22, 2016, 5:04 pm

Story # 74

Title: "My Blurry Girlfriend"
Author: Michael Jaoui
Length: 582 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-15
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/michael-jaoui/my-...

Yikes! Almost 12 days behind. My excuse: out-of-town-guests for 3 1/2 days; three part-time jobs and a freelance editing gig that all came to a head at once; and getting ready for a big trip. Hoping to catch up soon, but will certainly do so by the end of the month. Started myself off easy with this short flash piece, a fun and easy read about the narrator's literally blurry girlfriend. I found not only the story charming, but also the author's comments.

95elenchus
Mar 22, 2016, 9:20 pm

Yes, charming! And he ended it perfectly, I certainly wouldn't have come up with either the semi-climax, or his parting comment. I gave it seven rocket dragons.

96amysisson
Editado: Mar 25, 2016, 8:17 am

Story # 75

Title: "The Human is Late to Feed the Cat"
Author: Beth Cato
Length: 886 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2016-03-23
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v531/n7595/full/531544a.html

I was almost afraid to read this when I found out what it was about -- it's from a cat's point-of-view when a global event interferes with its scheduled feeding time. As the owner of several elderly, health-impaired cats, this really struck home. It's well done, and powerful.

97elenchus
Mar 24, 2016, 9:05 am

Agreed, could have been snarky or written as an easy lampoon of cat lovers (or cats themselves), but was quite the opposite. A little surprised you rated it that low, given your description of it as "well done, and powerful."

98amysisson
Mar 25, 2016, 8:17 am

>97 elenchus:

Oops, that was a cut-and-paste accident. I put the correct 4 1/2 stars in my master list at the top of the thread. Fixed here now too -- thanks!

99amysisson
Editado: Mar 25, 2016, 11:40 am

Story # 76

Title: "The World as Seen by Angels"
Author: Olivia Berrier
Length: 999 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2015-03-01
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/the-world-as-seen-by-angels-by-olivia-berrier/

Well, this was a surprise. I am an atheist and so don't believe in gods or angels. Yet I found this to be a lovely, life-affirming story. I think stories have the power to do good, but for me, the problem with religion is that positive (sometimes) stories have, over the centuries, been turned into dangerous gospel responsible for millions of deaths. To me, this short piece of flash fiction is what religious stories should be like -- recognized as a story, but without any diminishing in power due to that recognition.

100elenchus
Editado: Mar 25, 2016, 12:06 pm

>99 amysisson:

I love following this thread, it's introduced me to some wondrous fiction I almost certainly would not have come across on my own. I read that story and marveled at the very provocative premise: I love metaphor and linguistics and epistemology, and all that's rolled up so elegantly. And I finished the story teary-eyed, it's life-affirming just as you described.

In my eyes, not as amazing as >50 amysisson:, "26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss" but it's pointless really to try and pick the better of the two.

101elenchus
Mar 25, 2016, 12:55 pm

Postscript: one quirk of that story is that it's told in first person, but the story itself isn't constrained to metaphorical description, though the narrator is said to be so constrained.

But that's not necessarily a contradiction: apparently angels can only see in metaphors, but they can speak of what they've observed literally. (And then there's the linguistic theory that languages originate from a metaphorical view of the world, as so memorably explored in that original Star Trek episode, forget the title.) Another rationale is that perhaps angels are imagined an evolutionary step from humans, so they recall what it was like to see "literally", and can speak as if they saw that way, but currently their sight is constrained.

I don't find that a problem, but something that was niggling at me as I went about my work, after having read the story.

102amysisson
Mar 26, 2016, 4:55 pm

>100 elenchus:
and
>101 elenchus:

Thanks for chiming in! There have been several times when you've helped me see more in a story than I saw the first time around.

Would you be willing to let me quote or paraphrase your comments in my end-of-the-month blog post? I'd love to just direct quote, but could paraphrase if you find that preferable. I could call you "an online acquaintance" or use your first name or use your LT screen name, anything you prefer.

If you want to think about it, I don't need to know right this minute as I won't post until March 31 at the earliest. And if you prefer that I not do any of the above, that's your choice -- I won't be offended!

103elenchus
Mar 26, 2016, 5:29 pm

Oh, you can use whatever and however you want to attribute it is fine. My gain is having the opportunity to read these and chat with you. And thanks!

104amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 11:27 am

Story # 77

Title: "P.G. Holyfield’s Magnificent Travelling Spectacular"
Author: K.T. Bryski
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Tales of a Tesla Ranger: A Tribute to PG Holyfield (anthology)
When Published: 2014 / 2015
Rating:
Link: n/a

Recently I attended a writing retreat, and was lent this anthology by one of the other writers there, which contained this story by another of the writers there. In this story, a young woman suffering from panic and depression is enchanted when a mysterious, magical circus arrives outside her apartment window. The circus owner/ringmaster, PG Holyfield, is named after the person to whom this entire anthology is a tribute.

I'm a sucker for magical circus stories, such as Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Kij Johnson's 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss, the latter of which I read only recently. This story contained that same sense of magic, and was a tribute to a man I never got to meet, but whom I'm told liked to draw out the potential in others.

105amysisson
Editado: Mar 31, 2016, 10:10 am

Story # 78

Title: "Earth Hour"
Author: Ken MacLeod
Length: 5,431 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audiobook anthology, Brilliance Audio)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: Tor.com (June 2012)
Rating:
Link: http://www.tor.com/2011/06/22/earth-hour/

I didn't much care for this piece. It was intriguing at first, with the first section from an assassin's POV, and the second from his/her intended target's POV. But the story was muddled, a lot was left unexplained, and the reason behind the assassination attempt was (to me) anti-climactic. I also felt that the so-called "proof" against the person who hired the assassin was utterly circumstantial, and I didn't believe the protagonist could have figured it out the way he did.

106amysisson
Editado: Mar 31, 2016, 10:10 am

Story # 79

Title: ""Eve of Sin City"
Author: Sylvia Day
Length: 6,897 words
Category: Short story (fantasy / paranormal romance)
Where Published: Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audiobook anthology, Brilliance Audio)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: Tor.com (July 2010)
Rating:
Link: http://www.tor.com/2010/07/22/eve-of-sin-city/

This was a fun paranormal romance about a woman caught in the ultimate love triangle -- literally between brothers Cain and Abel. She herself is Marked, and must hunt demons when called to do so. I enjoyed the tone of this and the romance; at the same time, I was unclear how the Archangel character fit into the overall set-up. The plot in this particular episode is pretty fluffy; this is a short piece meant to entice readers into the series. While I enjoyed it, I don't think it enticed me enough to seek out more, especially since this isn't my preferred genre.

107amysisson
Editado: Mar 31, 2016, 10:10 am

Story # 80

Title: "The President's Brain is Missing"
Author: John Scalzi
Length: 6,695 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audiobook anthology, Brilliance Audio)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: Tor.com (July 2010)
Rating:
Link: http://www.tor.com/2010/07/12/the-presidents-brain-is-missing/

This is a fun piece that ultimately didn't work for me as well as I would have liked. Deputy White House Chief of Staff Alexander Lipsyte is called to a briefing, where it's explained to him that the President's Brain is missing, even though the President continues to function as usual (especially because nobody has told his his brain is missing). The story pokes fun at less-than-intelligent politicians, conspiracy theorists, and so on.

I think this would have worked better for me in print than in audio. The narrator does a nice job with the voices, but in their desire to leave the stories unabridged, the powers that be left in so many dialog tags that they became noticeable, even though it was almost always the supposedly invisible "said" rather than silly synonyms. But "said" is not invisible when a reader is doing different voices for the different characters, and they're actually not necessarily nearly as often because you can simply hear which character is talking. Since the narrator kept dropping from the character's voice in general narrator voice for each "Alex said" and each "insert character name said", even those that occurred in the middle of sentences, it became very noticeable.

While doing my usual temporary cut-and-paste into a Word doc to get the story's word count, I did a search. "Alex said" appears 81 times in a 6.695-word story. (There are also 11 occurrences of "Alex asked.") Most of them occur between two parts of dialog, such as:

"I did," Alex said. "I wanted to talk about the technology."

Now imagine that being related by a narrator who uses Alex's voice, drops to his own narrator voice just for the "Alex said" bit, then goes back to Alex's voice. And imagine that happening through many, many lines of back-and-forth dialogue.

It's not the narrator's fault as I'm sure he was following direction. And I doubt I would have given it a second thought if I'd encountered this as text instead of audio. But someone should have made the decision to cut a bunch of those unnecessary instances for audio.

108amysisson
Mar 31, 2016, 10:00 am

Story # 81

Title: "You Are Not the Hero of This Story"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 285 words
Category: Short story
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-03-31
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/slipstream/caroline-m-yoachim/you-...

This micropiece, which I think DSF is categorizing as slipstream (based on the URL), didn't work for me, unfortunately. I'm not generally snobby about what does or doesn't constitute "story," but this one definitely didn't feel like one to me.

109amysisson
Mar 31, 2016, 10:12 am

Story # 82

Title: "Sorry Fugu"
Author: T.C. Boyle
Length: unknown
Category: Short story (mainstream / literary)
Where Published: Selected Shorts: Food Fictions (audiobook anthology, Symphony Space)
When Published: 2007
Original Publication: Harper's, 1987
Rating:
Link: n/a

This story took about 46 minutes to listen to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, except that the ending just peters out -- I would have given it at least 4 1/2 stars otherwise. A chef and restaurant owner dreads the day when the acid-penned food critic Willa Frank visits his establishment.

110amysisson
Mar 31, 2016, 2:50 pm

Story # 83

Title: "The Dauphin’s Metaphysics"
Author: Eric Schwitzgebel
Length: 6,209 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Unlikely Story: The Journal of Unlikely Academia
When Published: 2015-10
Rating:
Link: http://www.unlikely-story.com/stories/the-dauphins-metaphysics-by-eric-schwitzge...

I liked this thoughtful story about identify, and whether memories make the person. I wanted to like it even more, but found it a little bit ... inaccessible. For instance, the professors' titles and ranks were slightly confusing, and I had difficulty remember some characters' names. I also think I know what the Dauphin and the main character (a female professor) hoped to eventually accomplish and how, but I don't feel certain that I'm correct in my understanding.

Still, this was rather creative, so it gets high marks for that.

111amysisson
Editado: Abr 1, 2016, 12:09 am

Story # 84

Title: "Degrees of Separation"
Author: Ruth Nestvold
Length: 3,656 words
Category: Short story (mainstream / literary)
Where Published: Abyss & Apex
When Published: 2015
Rating:
Link: http://www.abyssapexzine.com/2015/06/degrees-of-separation/

Even though I could quickly see exactly where this story was headed, the execution was quite nice, and it was worth reading. I think the author did a nice job of giving each character a distinct voice.

112amysisson
Abr 2, 2016, 8:27 pm

Story # 85

Title: "The Stories She Tells Herself"
Author: Kelly Sandoval
Length: 1,492 words
Category: Short story (mainstream / literary)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-04-01
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/slipstream/kelly-sandoval/the-stor...

The writing in this piece about domestic abuse, or at least about the lack of self-esteem that might lead to one putting up with mental cruelty, is very pretty, but I didn't feel this covered any new ground for me. It also didn't give me a sense of "story."

113amysisson
Abr 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

Story # 86

Title: "Foreign Tongues"
Author: John Wiswell
Length: 956 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2016-04-01
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/foreign-tongues/

This is a really cute little piece about an alien that communicates with taste, and is in ecstasy when it discovers ice cream, but it doesn't understand why people are running and screaming when it tries to taste them too. Silly premise, but carried throughout the entire story beautifully.

114amysisson
Abr 4, 2016, 9:34 am

Story # 87

Title: "Rocket Man"
Author: Lynette Mejia
Length: 986 words
Category: Science fiction (short story)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-04-04
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/lynette-mejia/rocket-ma...

This is a well-written flash piece about superheroes in rehab due to the guilt over the ones they couldn't save.

115amysisson
Abr 4, 2016, 9:51 am

Story # 88

Title: "The Memory Who Became a Girl"
Author: Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
Length: 3,071 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Fireside
When Published: 2016-04
Rating:
Link: http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue32/chapter/the-memory-who-became-a-girl/

This is a nicely written story about a stored memory that becomes self-aware and makes friends with a little boy on a spaceship. I found this pleasant and slightly moving, but I felt too aware of the contrived circumstances to surrender completely to the story (i.e. the fact that people would add the weight of memory boxes to interstellar flight; the fact that a boy the same age as the girl was when she died happened to find her memory box among hundreds or more, etc.).

116amysisson
Abr 4, 2016, 4:06 pm

Story # 89

Title: "Meltwater"
Author: Benjamin C. Kinney
Length: 2,194 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2016-03-14
Rating:
Link: http://strangehorizons.com/2016/20160314/meltwater-f.shtml

This short story takes place in a future where people can creates "forks," or duplicate personalities split off from their original source, to be downloaded into alternate bodies that can take many forms. Percel seeks her (I think) beloved, from whom she grew apart long ago.

I'm fairly certain what happened in this story is that Percel created a fork different enough from herself, named Emlune, that she eventually fell in love with her, only to learn that they were ultimately incompatible. And at least one version of Emlune appears to have been unhappy enough to commit suicide. But it was a little harder to suss this out than I would have liked, due in part to the potential confusion inherent in any story with multiple versions of the same character. It was also not helped by the fact that for at least half of the story, I thought Percel was male (I guess I was associating the name with Percival, which I think of as male). I also felt that the central, and to me profound, idea of having a version of yourself diverge so far that you could fall in love with it as with another person was not exactly glossed over, but not explored as much as I would have liked.

Still, this was a creative take on the idea of having "backup" copies of downloaded selves.

117amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 11:18 am

Story # 90

Title: "The Blood Tree War"
Author: Daniel Ausema
Length: 1,251 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2014-04-01
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-14-the-blood-tree-war-by-daniel-ausema...

There's some lovely imagery in this short piece about warring trees that feast on blood. (Yeah, the title is pretty much self-explanatory....)

118amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 10:24 am

Story # 91

Title: "Overtime"
Author: Charles Stross
Length: 8,754 words
Category: Novelette (science fiction)
Where Published: Tor.com: Selected Original Fiction, 2008-2012 (audiobook anthology, Brilliance Audio)
When Published: 2014
Original Publication: Tor.com (December 2009)
Rating:
Link: http://www.tor.com/2009/12/22/overtime/

This is an amusing Cthulu-Christmas story that takes place in a world of bureacracy. I liked the narration, but found myself disoriented by the section breaks, and had to refer to the online edition of the story to ground myself.

119amysisson
Abr 5, 2016, 10:40 am

Story # 92

Title: "The Unthreading"
Author: Matt Handle
Length: 999 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Freeze Frame Fiction
When Published: unknown
Rating:
Link: http://freezeframefiction.com/read/q7-flash-fiction/the-unthreading-by-matt-hand...

This story didn't do a lot for me. It just kind of went quietly from the thread of the idea (pun intended) to what felt like an inevitable conclusion. For me, it felt a bit like a writing exercise as opposed to a story.

120amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 11:22 am

Story # 93

Title: Millepora
Author: Shannon Peavey
Length: 977 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Flash Fiction Online
When Published: 2016-03
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/millepora/

I loved this flash piece about a slow transformation from human into something else. It reminded me in some ways of one of my all-time favorite short stories, Waiting for the Rain by Dirk Strasser.

121amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 12:24 pm

Story # 94

Title: "Happiness is in Your Genes"
Author: Kevin Cheeseman
Length: 494 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Mash Stories
When Published: 2016-03-31
Rating:
Link: http://www.mashstories.com/shortlist/happiness-is-in-your-genes/

I fully admit it, for my last two March stories, I deliberately chose very short pieces. But I do like the Mash contests! This quarter the required words were "mug - converter - happiness." Those words have to appear in those exact forms (although not case dependent) in a story of 500 words or less -- no other restrictions.

In my opinion, this story was very clever in its use of the required words -- they're all three important to the plot, not just perfunctory inclusions. This is about marriage, honesty, and truth. I didn't see the end coming, believe it or not. Not that it's earth-shattering, but I liked the way it unfolded.

122amysisson
Editado: Abr 5, 2016, 12:25 pm

Story # 95

Title: "Semper Fi, Mac"
Author: Tammi J. Truax
Length: 493 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Mash Stories
When Published: 2016-03-30
Rating:
Link: http://www.mashstories.com/shortlist/semper-fi-mac/

Although this story wasn't quite as brilliant as the previous one in its use of the three words, it was still very effective. It's told from the POV of a homeless veteran who is still on a campaign of sorts.

123elenchus
Abr 5, 2016, 12:44 pm

>121 amysisson:
>122 amysisson:

I especially liked Cheeseman's use of "mug" -- I noticed the first instance wasn't highlighted in the story, and briefly wondered why. Ah, now I see.

124amysisson
Abr 5, 2016, 2:03 pm

Summary blog post for March short fiction reading (finally!): http://amysreviews.blogspot.com/2016/04/short-fiction-march-2016.html