amysisson's Short Story Per Day 2016: Quarter 3

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amysisson's Short Story Per Day 2016: Quarter 3

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1amysisson
Editado: Ago 26, 2016, 11:30 pm

cut and paste format:

Story #

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

2amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:37 pm

JULY 2016

202. (1 in July) - July 1, 2016 - "Future Fragments, Six Seconds Long” by Alex Shvartsman. Published in Diabolical Plots, July 2016. Read 07-02-16.
203. (2 in July) - July 2, 2016 - "Slow Bullets" by Alistair Reynolds (standalone novella). Published by Tachyon/WSFS, 2015. Read 07-05-16.
204. (3 in July) - July 3, 2016 - "Lonesome" by Tarah Scalzo. Published in One Teen Story, December 2015. Read 07-06-16.
205. (4 in July) - July 4, 2016 - "Sunrise" by Madeline Curtis. Published in One Teen Story, October 2015. Read 07-06-16.
206. (5 in July) - July 5, 2016 - "Interrogation Cupcakes" by Alexander Burns. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 7, 2016. Read 07-07-16.
207. (6 in July) - July 6, 2016 - "In the Depths of the Museum" by R. Rozakis. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 7, 2016. Read 07-07-16.
208. (7 in July) - July 7, 2016 - "2 AM at a Motel in the City" by Cory Cone. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 8, 2016. Read 07-08-16.
209. (8 in July) - July 8, 2016 - "Never Will I Ever" by Kaleigh Longe. Published in Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, June 2016. Read 07-08-16.
210. (9 in July) - July 8, 2016 (second story) - "A Wrinkle Ironed Out" by Alison Wilgus. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 8, 2016. Read 07-08-16.
211. (10 in July) - July 9, 2016 - "Great Expectations" by M.E. Kerr. Published in On the Fringe (anthology), 2001. Read 07-09-16.
212. (11 in July) - July 9, 2016 (second story) - "The Happiest Place" by Carrie Vaughn. Published in Realms of Fantasy, February 2009. Read 07-09-16.
213. (12 in July) - July 9, 2016 (third story) - "The Redaction of Flight 5766" by Eric Gregory. Published in Sybil's Garage, no. 3, March 2006. Read 07-09-16.
214. (13 in July) - July 10, 2016 - "Blind Side" by Peter Wood. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 11, 2016. Read 07-11-16.
215. (14 in July) - July 11, 2016 - "Goosed" by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 11, 2016. Read 07-11-16.
216. (15 in July) - July 11, 2016 (second story) - "Combat Shopping" by Elizabeth Moon. Published in Escape from Earth (anthology), 2006. Read 07-11-16.
217. (16 in July) - July 12, 2016 - "Strawberry Kisses" by Carl Steiger. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 12, 2016. Read 07-12-16.
218. (17 in July) - July 12, 2016 (second story) - "Drink Me" by H. Victory. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 12, 2016. Read 07-12-16.
219. (18 in July) - July 12, 2016 (third story) - "The Cost to Be Wise" by Maureen F. McHugh. Published in Starlight 1 (anthology), 1996. Read 07-12-16.
220. (19 in July) - July 13, 2015 - "Morning Sun" by Edward Ashton. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 13, 2016. Read 07-13-16.
221. (20 in July) - July 13, 2016 (second story). "GI Jesus" by Susan Palwick. Published in Starlight 1 (anthology), 1996. Read 07-13-16.
222. (21 in July) - July 13, 2016 (third story) - "Companion Trilogy: Companion" by Mike Buckley. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 13, 2016. Read 07-13-16.
223. (22 in July) - July 13, 2016 (fourth story) - "Killing the Morrow" by Robert Reed. Published in Starlight 1 (anthology), 1996. Read 07-13-16.
224. (23 in July) - July 14, 2016 - "Insurrection" by Oscar Windsor-Smith. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 14, 2016. Read 07-14-16.
225. (24 in July) - July 14, 2016 (second story) - "A Study in Grey" by Sarah Doebereiner. Published in Trigger Warning: Short Fiction with Pictures, July 2016. Read 07-14-16.
226. (25 in July) - July 15, 2016 - "Companion Trilogy: Companionless" by Mike Buckley. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 14, 2016. Read 07-18-16.
227. (26 in July) - July 16, 2016 - "Companion Trilogy: Bareheaded" by Mike Buckley. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 15, 2016. Read 07-18-16.
228. (27 in July) - July 17, 2016 - "Retirement Plan" by Jack Hillman. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 18, 2016. Read 07-18-16.
229. (28 in July) - July 18, 2016 - "Heroes Be Damned" by Jareb Collins. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 19, 2016. Read 07-19-16.
230. (29 in July) - July 19, 2016 - "A Piece of Her Self" by Liz Walker. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 20, 2016. Read 07-20-16.
231. (30 in July) - July 20, 2016 - "Vent Act" by Graham Brand. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 21, 2016. Read 2016-07-21.
232. (31 in July) - July 21, 2016 - "Stan" by Rosalie Kempthorne. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 22, 2016. Read 2016-07-22.
233. (32 in July) - July 22, 2016 - "Choose Your Kid's Adventure" by Meghan Renee Jenkins. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 27, 2016. Read 07-28-16.
234. (33 in July) - July 22, 2016 - "Repeat One" by Andrew Neil McDonald. Published in Daily Science Fiction, July 28, 2016. Read 07-28-16.
235. (34 in July) - July 23, 2016 - "On Impulse" by Rita A. Popp. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 25, 2016. Read 07-28-16.
236. (35 in July) - July 24, 2016 - "Expendable" by Katherine Toran. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 26, 2016. Read 07-28-16.
237. (36 in July) - July 25, 2016 - "Candle, Card and Mirror" by Stephen S. Power. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 27, 2016. Read 08-01-16.
238. (37 in July) - July 26, 2016 - "Momentum" by Kris Dinnison. Published in One Teen Story, June 2016. Read 08-01-16.
239. (38 in July) - July 27, 2016 - "The Big Blow-Up" by Dave D'Alessio. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 28, 2016. Read 08-01-16.
240. (39 in July) - July 28, 2016 - "The Passing of the Book" by Gerald Warfield. Published in Every Day Fiction, July 29, 2016. Read 08-01-16.
241. (40 in July) - July 29, 2016 - "Frog Soup" by Floris M. Kleijne. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 2, 2016. Read 08-02-16.
242. (41 in July) - July 30, 2016 - "I Blame the Kardashians" by Tess Riesmeyer. Published in Mash Stories, August 1, 2016. Read 08-06-16.
243. (42 in July) - July 31, 2016 - "A Patch of Dirt in Paradise" by Lee Budar-Danoff. Published in Abyss & Apex, 2016. Read 08-06-16.

AUGUST 2016

244. (1 in August) - August 1, 2016 - "Floating in My Tin Can" by Gerri Leen. Published in Nature, August 4, 2016. Read 08-08-16.
245. (2 in August) - August 2, 2016 - "Like a Ghost I'm Gonna Haunt You" by Curtis C. Chen. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 9, 2016. Read 08-09-16.
246. (3 in August) - August 3, 2016 - "Buying the Farm" by Arlaina Tibensky. Published in One Teen Story, July 2016. Read 08-09-16.
247. (4 in August) - August 4, 2016 - "Cup of Love" by Kathryn Trudeau. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 10, 2016. Read 08-10-16.
248. (5 in August) - August 5, 2016 - "Walls of Nigeria" by Jeremy Szal. Published in Nature, August 10, 2016. Read 08-10-16.
249. (6 in August) - August 6, 2016 - "Killer Grandma" by Jeremy Szal. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 11, 2016. Read 08-11-16.
250. (7 in August) - August 7, 2016 - "Circular Landscapes" by Alexandria Mansfield. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 12, 2016. Read 08-12-16.
251. (8 in August) - August 8, 2016 - "How I Found My Way Here" by Stephen V. Ramey. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 15, 2016. Read 08-15-16.
252. (9 in August) - August 9, 2016 - "Betty and the Squelchy Saurus" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-23-16.
253. (10 in August) - August 10, 2016 - "Do Not Count the Withered Ones" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-23-16.
254. (11 in August) - August 11, 2016 - "Pieces of My Body" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-23-16.
255. (12 in August) - August 12, 2016 - "Everyone's a Clown" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-23-16.
256. (13 in August) - August 13, 2016 - "Harmonies of Time" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-23-16.
257. (14 in August) - August 14, 2016 - "A Man of Action" by Liz Colter. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 16, 2016. Read 08-25-16.
258. (15 in August) - August 15, 2016 - "Childish Things" by Steven Hicks. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 17, 2016. Read 08-25-16.
259. (16 in August) - August 16, 2016 - "Ex Angel" by Viara R. Mileva-Seitz. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 26, 2016. Read 08-26-16.
260. (17 in August) - August 17, 2016 - "God State" by Michelle Ann King. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 19, 2016. Read 08-26-16.
261. (18 in August) - August 18, 2016 - "You Can’t Take It with You" by Lisa Finch. Published in Digital Science Fiction, August 23, 2016. Read 08-26-19.
262. (19 in August) - August 19, 2016 - "In Sickness and in Health" by Gustavo Bondoni. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 18, 2016. Read 08-27-16.
263. (20 in August) - August 20, 2016 - "Primordia" by Sarah Crysl Akhtar. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 26, 2016. Read 08-27-16.
264. (21 in August) - August 21, 2016 - "The Chocolate Song" by Helen de Búrca. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 19, 2016. Read 08-28-16.
265. (22 in August) - August 22, 2016 - "Waking Beauty" by Martha Soukup. Published in Starlight 1 (anthology), 1996. Read 08-30-16.
266. (23 in August) - August 23, 2016 - "Temporary Friends" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 08-30-16.
267. (24 in August) - August 24, 2016 - "MPDB" by Tyler Young. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 22, 2016. Read 08-30-16.
268. (25 in August) - August 25, 2016 - "Sustaining Memory" by Coral Moore. Published in Diabolical Plots, August 2016. Read 08-31-16.
269. (26 in August) - August 26, 2016 - "Liza and the Crazy Water Man" by Andy Duncan. Published in Starlight 1 (anthology), 1996. Read 08-31-16.
270. (27 in August) - August 27, 2016 - "The Day Poppo Came Down to Breakfast, Twice" by James Alan Gotaas. Published in Daily Science Fiction, August 29, 2016. Read 08-31-16.
271. (28 in August) - August 28, 2016 - "Oh Susanna" by Mandy Nicol. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 23, 2016. Read 09-03-16.
272. (29 in August) - August 29, 2016 - "On the Eyeball Floor" by Tina Connolly. Published in Strange Horizons, June 2, 2008. Read 09-03-16.
273. (30 in August) - August 30, 2016 - "Fingerprints" by Jason M. Harley. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 30, 2016. Read 09-06-16.
274. (31 in August) - August 31, 2016 - "Hole in the Wall" by Lauren Triola. Published in Every Day Fiction, August 31, 2016. Read 09-06-16.

SEPTEMBER 2016
275. (1 in September) - September 1, 2016 - "Weaponized Ghosts of the 96th Infantry" by James Van Pelt. Published in Daily Science Fiction, September 9, 2016. Read 09-09-16.
276. (2 in September) - September 2, 2016 - "Hillary’s First 100 Days" by David Mandel. Published in the New York Times Book Review, September 9, 2016. Read 09-09-16.
277. (3 in September) - September 3, 2016 - "Paperclips and Memories and Things That Won't Be Missed" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 09-11-16.
278. (4 in September) - September 4, 2016 - "Please Approve the Dissertation Research of Angtor" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 09-11-16.
279. (5 in September) - September 5, 2016 - "Th Fifth Lttr" by S. Qiouyi Lu. Published in Daily Science Fiction, September 12, 2016. Read 09-12-16.
280. (6 in September) - September 6, 2016 - "Honeybee" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 09-12-16.
281. (7 in September) - September 7, 2016 - "Dragon-Smoked Barbeque" by M.K. Hutchins. Published in Strange Horizons, September 12, 2016. Read 09-13-16.
282. (8 in September) - September 8, 2016 - "Anabaptist" by Daniel Rosen. Published in Apex Magazine, February 2016. Read 09-13-16.
283. (9 in September) - September 9, 2016 - "Do Not Question the University" by PC Keeler. Published in Diabolical Plots, September 2016. Read 09-14-16.
284. (10 in September) - September 10, 2016 - "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang. Published as a standalone volume by Subterranean Press, 2007. Read 09-16-16.
285. (11 in September) - September 11, 2016 - "Dress Rehearsal" by Kate Norris. Published in One Teen Story, August 2016. Read 09-27-16.
286. (12 in September) - September 12, 2016 - "If I Could Give This Time Machine Zero Stars, I Would" by James Wesley Rogers. Published in Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (anthology), September 2016. Read 09-27-16.
287. (13 in September) - September 13, 2016 - "My Enemy, The Unicorn" by Bill Ferris. Published in Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (anthology), September 2016. Read 09-27-16.
288. (14 in September) - September 14, 2016 - "The Thirteenth Ride" by Holly Lynn Walrath. Published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, May 2016. Read 09-28-16.
289. (15 in September) - September 15, 2016 - "Stone Wall Truth" by Caroline Yoachim. Published in Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection), August 2016. Read 09-29-16.
290. (16 in September) - September 16, 2016 - "NFL Legend Joins Ballet" by Katie Lohr. Published in Splickety Herald, March 2016. Read 10-01-16.
291. (17 in September) - September 17, 2016 - "Mistaken Identity" by Daniel J. Davis. Published in Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (anthology), September 2016. Read 09-27-16.

3amysisson
Editado: Jul 5, 2016, 11:54 pm

Story # 202

Title: "Future Fragments, Six Seconds Long"
Author: Alex Shvartsman
Length: 777 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2016-07
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-17-future-fragments-six-seconds-long-b...

This is a charming flash story about a fortune-teller who can see six-second fragments of her customers' futures.

4amysisson
Editado: Ago 25, 2016, 12:43 pm

Story # 203

Title: "Slow Bullets"
Author: Alistair Reynolds
Length: 40,000 (est. at 41,100 but was declared eligible for Hugo novella category)
Category: Novella (science fiction)
Where Published: Tachyon/WSFS
When Published: 2015
Rating:
Link: N/A

This was an interesting space opera/military sci-fi novella, but I felt it had too much going on for this length: war criminals, revenge, religion, identity, fall of civilization, preservation of knowledge, mysterious aliens.... I also didn't buy that sending a single person down to planets that had degraded would particularly help those planets.

5amysisson
Jul 6, 2016, 1:23 pm

Story # 204

Title: "Lonesome"
Author: Tarah Scalzo
Length: 3,800 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2015-12
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story, from the point of view of a small-town Wisconsin girl who befriends a pregnant classmate, was well-written on the prose level but was just too random and plot-less for my taste.

6amysisson
Jul 6, 2016, 1:25 pm

Story # 205

Title: "Sunrise"
Author: Madeline Curtis
Length: 2,900 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2015-10
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, a group of four boys go for a joyride in a stolen car, with predictable results. This story was written by a high school senior, and while it's quite polished, for me it reads as though she has been heavily influenced by S.E. Hinton's The Outisiders.

7amysisson
Editado: Jul 8, 2016, 10:54 am

Story # 206

Title: "Interrogation Cupcakes"
Author: Alexander Burns
Length: 991 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-07
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/interrogation-cupcakes-by-alexander-burns/

I liked this story while reading it, but it just sort of fizzles out. I didn't see any reason or motivation for the robot's last line of dialogue, and the story was too short to indicate to me that the robot had actually learned anything yet about interacting with humans.

8amysisson
Jul 7, 2016, 11:52 am

Story # 207

Title: "In the Depths of the Museum"
Author: R. Rozakis
Length: 504 words
Category: Short story (horror)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-07
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/r-rozakis/in-the-...

This short horror piece didn't work for me. I just found it too random, and the little girl's physical properties (for lack of a better word) didn't make sense to me.

9amysisson
Jul 8, 2016, 10:55 am

Story # 208

Title: "2 AM at a Motel in the City"
Author: Cory Cone
Length: 982 words
Category: Short story (horror)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-08
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/2-am-at-a-motel-in-the-city-by-cory-cone/

This story nicely set up an effective creep factor, but the story is all set-up with no explanation or resolution.

10amysisson
Jul 8, 2016, 11:10 am

Story # 209

Title: "Never Will I Ever"
Author: Kaleigh Longe
Length: 1,335 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry
When Published: 2016-06
Rating:
Link: https://zeteticrecord.org/2016/06/never-will-i-ever/

This mainstream short story, about (I assume) a parent watching a daughter die of cancer, has some emotional power. The author's lack of experience does show, however, with some ambiguous pronouns and a few phrases that try too hard (and should be hyphenated as compound adjectives). These are minor things that can be improved by time and experience.

11amysisson
Jul 8, 2016, 1:01 pm

cut and paste format:

Story # 210

Title: "A Wrinkle Ironed Out"
Author: Alison Wilgus
Length: 1,474 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-08
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/alison-wilgus/a-wrinkle-ir...

I liked this story about a woman caught between the aliens who are controlling, to a degree, what happens on Earth, and a small group of resistance fighters. However, I would like to be more certain that what I think happened is actually what happened: I think that the woman herself betrayed the resistance fighters because she knew their cause was hopeless, and would result in the destruction of the cathedral she was trying to preserve. But it's not clear to me how she did this -- gas? a bomb? And because I'm unclear on the "how," I'm also unclear on the "whether," which I find unsatisfying in this case.

12amysisson
Editado: Jul 9, 2016, 10:33 am

Story # 211

Title: "Great Expectations"
Author: M.E. Kerr
Length: 4,950 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (YA / mainstream)
Where Published: On the Fringe (anthology)
When Published: 2001
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, a bullied teen, whose mother runs a boarding house for the families of convicts, poses as the son of a man serving a fifty-year-sentence. When the man tells him he plans to give him a large amount of money, the teen finds a new, albeit temporary, confidence.

Unfortunately, I didn't find this story to be terribly believable, and I didn't like the recursive nature of it -- he basically ends up writing it as a story for a school assignment.

13amysisson
Editado: Jul 21, 2016, 11:54 am

Story # 212

Title: "The Happiest Place"
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Length: 4,700 words (est. based on column inch count)
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Realms of Fantasy
When Published: 2009-02
Rating:
Link: N/A

This is a moving story about a young woman who plays Cinderella at Disneyworld, and who struggles with interacting with terminally ill children who want to meet her.

14amysisson
Editado: Jul 21, 2016, 11:39 am

Story # 213

Title: "The Redaction of Flight 5766"
Author: Eric Gregory
Length: 3,700 words (est. based on column inch count)
Category: Short story (fantasy? science fiction?)
Where Published: Sybil's Garage, no. 3
When Published: 2006-03
Rating:
Link: N/A

There was a lot I liked about this story of an airport security screener, but ultimately there weren't enough answers to be satisfying. I didn't necessarily want to know the why or how of it, but if the conclusion I'm supposed to draw is that these passengers know they're getting on a flight that will crash, I would have liked it to be made a little bit more explicit.

15amysisson
Jul 11, 2016, 10:05 am

Story # 214

Title: "Blind Side"
Author: Peter Wood
Length: 990 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-11
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/blind-side-by-peter-wood/

I found this jocks versus geeks story a little too on the nose.

16amysisson
Jul 11, 2016, 11:01 am

Story # 215

Title: "Goosed"
Author: Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
Length: 757 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-11
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/magic-and-wizardry/jennifer-campbell-hick...

This is a simplistic story about infidelity and revenge. In a way, there's nothing new here, but it reads like a breeze and I somehow really enjoyed it.

17amysisson
Editado: Ago 8, 2016, 12:46 pm

Story # 216

Title: "Combat Shopping"
Author: Elizabeth Moon
Length: 20,450 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Novella (science fiction / YA)
Where Published:
When Published:
Rating:
Link: N/A

This novelette appears in the anthology Escape from Earth, in which editors Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois were charged with finding stories with a traditional juvenile sensibility of longing to "see what's happening out there." In "Combat Shopping", twelve-year-old Andi Murchison longs to get her pilot's license as a possible means to escape her stifling life in a habitat on Jupiter's moon Ganymede. When she takes the test against her adoptive mother's orders, it sets off a chain of events that reveal some unexpected secrets about her situation. I loved the way Andi takes charge of her own destiny, yet doesn't forget her responsibilities to others, particularly her adoptive siblings.

18amysisson
Jul 12, 2016, 12:16 pm

Story # 217

Title: "Strawberry Kisses"
Author: Carl Steiger
Length: 568 words
Category: Short story (horror)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-12
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/strawberry-kisses-%E2%80%A2-by-carl-steiger/

I didn't much see the point of this short horror piece that doesn't have much in the way of an ending or explanation of any kind. I also found the writing a little clunky on the sentence level.

19amysisson
Jul 12, 2016, 5:09 pm

Story # 218

Title: "Drink Me"
Author: H. Victory
Length: 321 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-12
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/h-victory/drink-me

I found this remarkably satisfying for such a tiny little story.

20amysisson
Jul 12, 2016, 7:25 pm

Story # 219

Title: "The Cost to Be Wise"
Author: Maureen F. McHugh
Length: 20,500 (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Novella (science fiction)
Where Published: Starlight 1 (anthology), edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
When Published: 1996
Rating:
LinK: N/A

Parts of this novella were intriguing, but I found it grim and a little unsatisfying. (I like grim sometimes, but this didn't have the intangible satisfying element that I need to make up for the grimness.)

Plot-wise, a young woman in a snowbound primitive village on a long-lost planetary colony is intrigued by some offworld visitors, but violent members of a rival hunting group show up and endanger everything.

A review of this story that I just peeked at online says it's obviously influenced by Ursula K. Le Guin, and I would have to agree.

21amysisson
Jul 13, 2016, 12:41 pm

Story # 220

Title: "Morning Sun"
Author: Edward Ashton
Length: 971 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-13
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/morning-sun-by-edward-ashton/

This flash piece is about a man who has both cancer and regrets. In that sense, it's not a terribly innovative story ... but I feel as though every word in the story was the right choice. This is a skilled writer, who can convey a lot in few words.

22amysisson
Editado: Jul 13, 2016, 3:15 pm

Story # 221

Title: "GI Jesus"
Author: Susan Palwick
Length: 10,250 (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Novelette (slipstream)
Where Published: Starlight 1 (anthology)
When Published: 1996
Rating:
Link: N/A

This is a story about miracles, whether or not to believe in miracles, forgiveness, and innocence. Oh, and pareidolia (I had to search to find that term!). Hint: the "GI" does not stand for "general infantry."

I found this story satisfying.

23amysisson
Editado: Jul 13, 2016, 4:08 pm

Story # 222

Title: "Companion Trilogy: Companion"
Author: Mike Buckley
Length: 795 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-13
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/virtual-reality/mike-buckley/comp...

This is the first in a series of three related flash pieces that will be appearing on Daily Science Fiction in the next few days. A detective must find his missing partner; they, and everyone else in society, has some kind of AI companion creature that essentially controls their minds.

This was competent enough, but also bordering on cliche. In so many dystopian stories, the main character is an enforcer who hunts down rebels or protestors. They usually have to hunt down their partners. And eventually, they themselves turn. If that isn't what happens in the next two installments, I'll be very surprised.

24amysisson
Jul 13, 2016, 7:09 pm

Story # 223

Title: "Killing the Morrow"
Author: Robert Reed
Length: 5,500 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Starlight 1 (anthology)
When Published: 1996
Rating:
Link: N/A

I didn't care terribly much for this story, in which people are mind-controlled by a voice from the future, that forces them to prepare the world for their own artificially grown people. It was just a bit too muddled for me.

25amysisson
Jul 14, 2016, 9:53 am

Story # 224

Title: "Insurrection"
Author: Oscar Windsor-Smith
Length: 911 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-14
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/insurrection-%E2%80%A2-by-oscar-windsor-smith/

I found this story, about an android that sticks it to an abusive human, to be messy and a little off-putting.

26amysisson
Jul 14, 2016, 12:05 pm

Story # 225

Title: "A Study in Grey"
Author: Sarah Doebereiner
Length: 2,090 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Trigger Warning: Short Fiction with Pictures
When Published: 2016-07
Rating:
Link: http://www.triggerwarningshortfiction.com/a-study-in-grey/

This story is about a young woman's attempt to kill herself, first with pills, then by cutting her wrists, then by hanging herself. To be honest, I kind of felt like this was a pointless exercise in despair -- there wasn't anything more to it than that, and I found it unrealistic that all three attempts were unsuccessful.

27amysisson
Jul 18, 2016, 5:28 pm

Story # 226

Title: "Companion Trilogy: Companionless"
Author: Mike Buckley
Length: 923 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-14
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/virtual-reality/mike-buckley/comp...

This is the second piece in this flash fiction series. I found it a little clunkier than the first story.

28amysisson
Jul 18, 2016, 5:29 pm

Story # 227

Title: "Companion Trilogy: Bareheaded"
Author: Mike Buckley
Length: 1,133 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-15
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/virtual-reality/mike-buckley/comp...

This conclusion to the series had a somewhat unexpected ending, but I had trouble believing the main character would be so motivated -- it felt like it came out of nowhere.

29amysisson
Jul 18, 2016, 7:21 pm

Story # 228

Title: "Retirement Plan"
Author: Jack Hillman
Length: 939 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-18
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/jack-hillman/retirement-pl...

This story had promise, but instead of focusing on the more interesting concept (different kinds of "nothing"), it went for a gimmick ending that for me seemed to come out of nowhere.

30amysisson
Jul 19, 2016, 12:09 pm

Story # 229

Title: "Heroes Be Damned"
Author: Jareb Collins
Length: 997 words
Category: Short story (fantasy / mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-19
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/heroes-be-damned-%E2%80%A2-by-jareb-collins/

I'm afraid this story didn't work for me at all. It's a tale within a tale, and I've always disliked what to me feels like the generic tone of mythic stories. Also, the character name of Ravenclaw carries too much Harry Potter baggage for me to find it effective.

The thing that bothered me the most, though, is that the Star Singer character is described as a "whelp named Star Singer who clung to his grandfather like a lost babe." It then says that he'd "been on Cloudwalker’s hip since this ill-fated journey began." I took that to mean this was a toddler actually being carried on the grandfather's hip. But it turns out Star Singer is old enough to bury the grandfather's body. (I also found it unrealistic that the very drunken Ravenclaw aims a kick at Star Singer's face, slips and misses, instead connecting with the grandfather's chin and killing him.)

31amysisson
Editado: Jul 20, 2016, 12:58 pm

Story # 230

Title: "A Piece of Her Self"
Author: Liz Walker
Length: 873 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-20
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/a-piece-of-her-self-by-liz-walker/

I liked the sentiment of this piece, in which a woman about to undergo surgery for brain cancer fears losing her identity, but I found the writing itself a bit jagged, particularly in terms of the chronological flow of the story. For instance, her first symptom happens in simple past tense, but then she "had studied" the surgeon's hands at the pre-op appointment. In another disjointed bit, Adam put on his coat, and then an unnamed "she," who turns out to be the main character, gave him a kiss.

32amysisson
Jul 21, 2016, 9:38 am

Story # 231

Title: "Vent Act"
Author: Graham Brand
Length: 881 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-21
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/vent-act-by-graham-brand/

I enjoyed this short piece about a ventriloquist and his dummy who change with the times, although ultimately it felt a little too exaggerated. But it was clever.

33amysisson
Jul 22, 2016, 10:23 pm

Story # 232

Title: "Stan"
Author: Rosalie Kempthorne
Length: 676 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-22
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/stan-by-rosalie-kempthorne/

I liked this atmospheric story about a woman whose dead brother always calls on her birthday, somehow and from somewhere. The only note in this story I would have changed is the last line or so ... to me it was anti-climactic. But there are some lovely turns of phrase, such as "She casts herself as a quiet, grey shadow."

34amysisson
Editado: Jul 28, 2016, 11:31 am

Story # 233

Title: "Choose Your Kid's Adventure"
Author: Meghan Renee Jenkins
Length: 512 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-27
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/meghan-renee-jenk...

The premise of this story, in which parents choose an "adventure" reality in which their child will be brought up, had promise, but the story's execution isn't terribly logical or compelling. I also found the writing to be a little clumsier than expected for a published story.

35amysisson
Jul 28, 2016, 11:03 am

Story # 234

Title: "Repeat One"
Author: Andrew Neil McDonald
Length: 158 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-28
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/andrew-neil-mcdonald/...

The gimmick of this micro-story was a little too obvious for my taste.

36amysisson
Jul 28, 2016, 11:38 am

Story # 235

Title: "On Impulse"
Author: Rita A. Popp
Length: 814 words
Category: Short story (romance)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-25
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/on-impulse-by-rita-a-popp/

This is a sweet romance flash story. It's not without flaws, but I found it a pleasant read.

37amysisson
Editado: Ago 1, 2016, 12:26 pm

Story # 236

Title: "Expendable"
Author: Katherine Toran
Length: 892 words
Category: Short story (science fiction / humor)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-26
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/expendable-by-katherine-toran/

This Star Trek parody involving redshirts didn't work for me. For one, Scalzi's novel by that very title makes redshirt parodies a bit superfluous unless they find a really unique angle. This one tried for a twist, but for me it wasn't executed well enough to make the story.

38amysisson
Editado: Ago 1, 2016, 12:27 pm

Story # 237

Title: "Candle, Card and Mirror"
Author: Stephen S. Power
Length: 666 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-27
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/candle-card-and-mirror-by-stephen-s-power/

In this fantasy flash, things go wrong when a mage tries to revert the prince he had "hidden" by turning him into a bear, with unintended consequences. I'm afraid I found this predictable and a little clumsy.

39amysisson
Editado: Ago 1, 2016, 12:28 pm

Story # 238

Title: "Momentum"
Author: Kris Dinnison
Length: 3,350 words (est. based on sample page count(
Category: Short story (YA / mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2016-06-18
Rating:
Link: N/A

This mainstream YA story is about unrequited love between a gay teen and his best friend. It was competently written, but it was easy to predict where the story was going with its game of "truth or dare." In addition, neither character was particularly likeable, so I didn't feel emotionally invested in the story.

40amysisson
Editado: Ago 1, 2016, 12:29 pm

Story # 239

Title: "The Big Blow-Up"
Author: Dave D'Alessio
Length: 971 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-28
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/the-big-blow-up-by-dave-dalessio/

This is a hardboiled PI piece about an android seeking a clue to its identity. It was well done, but relied a bit too much on acronyms I didn't know, and it didn't feel like a complete story to me.

41amysisson
Ago 1, 2016, 4:38 pm

Story # 240

Title: "The Passing of the Book"
Author: Gerald Warfield
Length: 1,000 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-29
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/the-passing-of-the-book-by-gerald-warfield/

This short piece is about a witch hunt and censorship. I'm afraid I found it rather generic.

42amysisson
Ago 2, 2016, 9:05 am

Story # 241

Title: "Frog Soup"
Author: Floris M. Kleijne
Length: 743 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-02
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/robots-and-computers/floris-m-kle...

I wasn't crazy about this short piece, about a coding nerd betrayed by the fantasy woman who shows up at his door one day. The second person POV didn't work terribly well for me in this case. It also bothered me a little that this seemed science fictional, but the telepathy seemed more like magic that didn't fit into the story.

43amysisson
Ago 6, 2016, 11:08 am

Story # 242

Title: "I Blame the Kardashians"
Author: Tess Riesmeyer
Length: 461 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Mash Stories
When Published: 2016-08-01
Rating:
Link: http://www.mashstories.com/shortlist/i-blame-the-kardashians/

This micro piece is an entry in the Mash quarterly fiction contest; the prompt words that had to be included were pizza, corruption, and selfie. In this piece, a teenage girl is on the verge of a romantic breakthrough with her crush when her crazy aunt interrupts and embarrasses her. It's not really a complete story -- which is difficult to do within the contest's 500 word limit -- but there are some very nice touches in this one.

44amysisson
Ago 6, 2016, 11:27 am

Story # 243

Title: "A Patch of Dirt in Paradise"
Author: Lee Budar-Danoff
Length: 975 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Abyss & Apex
When Published: 2016
Rating:
Link: http://www.abyssapexzine.com/2016/06/a-patch-of-dirt-in-paradise/

This is a quiet piece about a young woman in a post-nuclear disaster Hawaii, who meets an older woman trying to grow food even as she uselessly repeats advice from a 1960s pamphlet on surviving nuclear war. It was nicely written but didn't cover a lot of new ground for me, or make me experience the familiar in a significantly new way.

45amysisson
Ago 8, 2016, 1:13 pm

Story # 244

Title: "Floating in My Tin Can"
Author: Gerri Leen
Length: 962 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2016-08-04
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7614/full/536120a.html

In this piece, a pilot awaiting almost certain death reflects upon the girl she knew in a children's home who sang to her at night.

I found this touching but a little too intense for the length, perhaps? I also was puzzled as to why singers were being "silenced" in particular, since there was no mention of any politics or other censorship.

46amysisson
Ago 9, 2016, 9:32 am

Story # 245

Title: "Like a Ghost I'm Gonna Haunt You"
Author: Curtis C. Chen
Length: 981 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-09
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/magic-and-wizardry/curtis-c-chen/like-a-g...

I was invested in this story up until the end, which came out of nowhere and, due to the flash nature of this piece, wasn't given space or time to be addressed. I also think that the story's title didn't fit, and the fact that the "Bob" (as in the "as you know, Bob") character did not really need to be an insurance adjuster as opposed to a magic auditor.

47amysisson
Editado: Ago 11, 2016, 9:27 am

Story # 246

Title: "Buying the Farm"
Author: Arlaina Tibensky
Length: 5,500 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2016-07-18
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story ticked me off, for three reasons that I feel are somewhat justified and one reason that is irrational on my part.

1) The story starts out great -- seriously, I was only a few pages in and anticipated that I would be rating it highly. And then it got random and ended on a non-ending.

2) Sentences within single paragraphs have no apparent relation to each other: I look down at my lap and there is a note, a folded up paper triangle: "Ditch Homecoming with me Saturday." Carl is a rock star among farmers. I am sweating and the bell rings. If "Carl is a rock star among farmers" has anything to do with the sentences that surround it, I don't know what that connection is.

3) This publication uses only an extra line return, i.e. no symbols, for section breaks. In one case, it appears that one section ends at the bottom of a page and another starts at the top of the next page, but since the author uses non sequiturs several times, it's impossible to tell for sure. I got thrown out of the story trying to figure out what was going on. This is careless editing as far as I'm concerned, in terms of not indicating section breaks in a more obvious way.

4) (This is the slightly irrational one) The story's copyright information makes no mention of the fact that this story was first published in One Story, a sister publication to One Teen Story, in 2002. I discovered this fact purely by chance. I don't think this story was worth reprinting, and I have to imagine that One Teen Story gets enough quality submissions that they don't need to resort to old reprints even if they're of higher quality. In fact, their submission guidelines would suggest that they don't accept reprints.

I generally love this publication, but boy, they really phoned it in this time.

48amysisson
Ago 11, 2016, 12:16 am

Story # 247

Title: "Cup of Love"
Author: Kathryn Trudeau
Length: 507 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-10
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/cup-of-love-by-kathryn-trudeau/

This is a mainstream flash piece that's kind of a freeze frame of a marriage when a career decision is at stake. It's fairly well done -- not overly memorable, but with some nice turns of phrase.

49amysisson
Ago 11, 2016, 12:18 am

Story #248

Title: "Walls of Nigeria"
Author: Jeremy Szal
Length: 973 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Nature
When Published: 2016-08-10
Rating:
Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7615/full/536244a.html

OK, I loved this one! I'm a sucker for Heinlein-esque waldo-powered armored suits; I've read The Forever War by Haldeman at least three times, as well as Starship Troopers by Heinlein and Armor by John Steakley. This flash piece has a horrifying twist to it, yet also manages to convey a sense of poignant tragedy.

50amysisson
Ago 11, 2016, 10:18 am

Story # 249

Title: "Killer Grandma"
Author: Jeremy Szal
Length: 882 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-11
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/killer-grandma-by-jeremy-szal/

In this story, a 600-year-old fey, disguised as a old human woman, takes revenge on the juvenile delinquents who break into her house. There's nothing wrong with the writer, but it didn't particularly engage me.

51amysisson
Ago 14, 2016, 3:10 pm

Story # 250

Title: "Circular Landscapes"
Author: Alexandria Mansfield
Length: 775 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-12
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/circular-landscapes-by-alexandria-mansfield/

52amysisson
Ago 15, 2016, 1:32 pm

Story # 251

Title: "How I Found My Way Here"
Author: Stephen V. Ramey
Length: 330 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-15
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/how-i-found-my-way-here-by-stephen-v-ramey/

This micro-piece about a man dealing with two door-to-door evangelicals didn't work for me.

53amysisson
Editado: Ago 24, 2016, 8:21 pm

Story # 252

Title: "Betty and the Squelchy Saurus"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 3,967 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Fireside, October 2015
Rating:
Link: http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue28/chapter/betty-and-the-squelchy-saurus/

This is a fun story about literal monsters-under-the-bed at an orphanage; the children and monsters operate under a truce, but after a mistake is made, a new battle must be waged and the truce re-established.

54amysisson
Editado: Ago 24, 2016, 8:33 pm

Story # 253

Title: "Do Not Count the Withered Ones"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 986 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Daily Science Fiction, August 12, 2014
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/magic-realism/caroline-m-yoachim/d...

This story is a lovely piece about how love can transcend the loss of memory caused by Alzheimer's.

55amysisson
Ago 24, 2016, 8:54 pm

Story # 254

Title: "Pieces of My Body"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 956 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Daily Science Fiction, June 19, 2014
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/caroline-m-yoachim/pieces...

This one didn't quite work for me. The narrator details all the people to whom she left pieces of her body at her "disembodiment party," and occasionally addresses a "you" who does not want to take the same path. I felt as though it couldn't decide whether it was fantasy or science fiction, literal or metaphorical. It just never came together for me as a story.

56amysisson
Ago 24, 2016, 9:50 pm

Story # 255

Title: "Everyone's a Clown"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 1,028 words
Category: Short story (fantasy/science fiction/horror)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Unlikely Story: The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia, April 2015
Rating:
Link: http://www.unlikely-story.com/stories/everyones-a-clown-by-caroline-m-yoachim/

What's funny is that this is another story that I can't definitively decide to call fantasy or science fiction or even horror ... but in this case I don't mind at all. I lean towards science fiction, because I took this to be a kind of extrasensory perception. After taking her young daughter to the circus, a woman starts seeing everyone as having clown faces. Gradually she learns that this is actually the way her daughter has always seen the world, because she sees internal emotions. While it's horrifying to the woman, she realizes that it eases her daughter's burden to be able to share it. I thought this was lovely in terms of its unique portrayal of a mother's love. There's a horrifying element (clowns are inherently creepy, and this makes them more so, in some ways), but love triumphs.

57amysisson
Ago 25, 2016, 12:26 pm

Story # 256

Title: "Harmonies of Time"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 1,107 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Daily Science Fiction, January 1, 2013
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/caroline-m-yoachi...

This short piece about alternate timelines is something of a love letter. It's not something I haven't seen before in terms of the concept, but it's beautifully written just the same.

58amysisson
Ago 25, 2016, 12:41 pm

Story # 257

Title: "A Man of Action"
Author: Liz Colter
Length: 761 words
Category: Short story (fantasy/science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-16
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/a-man-of-action-by-liz-colter/

I call this both fantasy and science fiction because I'm never sure what to do with superhero stories. I do think of science fiction as being "things that we think could be possible," and I don't think that superheroes who can fly without wings (or an Ironman suit) are every going to be possible, but on the other hand, superhero stories feel more life SF than fantasy to me.

At any rate, in this one, the superhero has amnesia, which is a bit of a problem. The story is nicely done, in my opinion.

59amysisson
Ago 25, 2016, 3:39 pm

Story # 258

Title: "Childish Things"
Author: Steven Hicks
Length: 292 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-17
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/childish-things-by-steven-hicks/

This mainstream micropiece is a snippet about an Afghanistan war vet. It's well done for what it is.

60amysisson
Ago 26, 2016, 10:17 pm

Story # 259

Title: "Ex Angel"
Author: Viara R. Mileva-Seitz
Length: 1,031 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-26
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/religious/viara-r-mileva-seitz/ex-angel

This story about a man who encounters a fallen angel is interesting, but a little too ... non-specific for my taste. I'm assuming that the narrator is the man with whom the angel fell in love, but it's not clear. The "rules" of the angel's existence also isn't clear. Overall, I feel that this didn't quite fulfill its potential for me.

61amysisson
Ago 26, 2016, 10:35 pm

Story # 260

Title: "God State"
Author: Michelle Ann King
Length: 1,292 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-19
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/future-societies/michelle-ann-kin...

I think this story achieves the author's stated goal (in her comments at the end) of making it hard to decide which situation is better, but at the same time I didn't find a lot in this utopian/dystopian piece that felt new to me. It's well-enough written, however, and I think mileage may vary for readers in terms of effectiveness.

62amysisson
Ago 26, 2016, 11:35 pm

Story # 261

Title: "You Can’t Take It with You"
Author: Lisa Finch
Length: 992 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Digital Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-23
Original Publication: Robbed of Sleep Volume 2 (anthology), December 2014.
Rating:
Link: http://digitalfictionpub.com/quickfic/you-cant-take-it-with-you-by-lisa-finch-sc...

This short piece combines two vibes: deal-with-the-devil (in that the protagonist always thinks they've thought of everything) and Twilight Zone.

63amysisson
Ago 27, 2016, 9:30 pm

Story # 262

Title: In Sickness and in Health
Author: Gustavo Bondoni
Length: 634 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-18
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/in-sickness-and-in-health-by-gustavo-bondoni/

I found this story about an elderly couple discussing whether they should pursue anti-aging treatments to be a bit too simplistic for my taste.

64amysisson
Ago 27, 2016, 9:51 pm

Story # 263

Title: "Primordia"
Author: Sarah Crysl Akhtar
Length: 921 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-26
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/primordia-by-sarah-crysl-akhtar/

I'm afraid I found this story rather incomprehensible. In addition to not understanding what was happening and why, I was a little put off by what felt like a lot of platitudes:

“Don’t misunderstand; it is not a mitigation. The stain cannot be diminished. Free will has its cost.”

...

“It is one of the great ironies. Every liberator thinks he carries a gentler choke collar. But never mind. It’s not important now.”

“It was important to them — those people broken and killed — and their children and their mothers and fathers, without even a grave to cry over sometimes — they deserve more than your elegant allusions.”

...

“Yes,” he said, “that is the purpose of philosophy. To distract us from truth.”


65amysisson
Ago 28, 2016, 8:42 pm

Story # 264

Title: "The Chocolate Song"
Author: Helen de Búrca
Length: 983 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published:
When Published:
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/the-chocolate-song-by-helen-de-burca/

This short piece isn't perfect, but it nicely evokes the sense of loss that occurs after two sisters have grown apart.

66amysisson
Ago 30, 2016, 2:22 pm

Story # 265

Title: "Waking Beauty"
Author: Martha Soukup
Length: 3,900 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Starlight 1 (anthology)
When Published: 1996
Rating:
Link: N/A

I enjoyed the dreaminess (literal and figurative) of this story in which a generic office worker, Amy, temporarily embeds her co-workers deeper into their office sleepwalking so that she can encounter the man to whom she's attracted. That said, I found the vagueness surrounding the mechanics of how she accomplished this to be frustrating.

67amysisson
Editado: Ago 30, 2016, 2:35 pm

Story # 266

Title: "Temporary Friends"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 2,299 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World and Other Stories (collection)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication: Escape Pod, February 2015
Rating:
Link: http://escapepod.org/2015/02/16/ep481-temporary-friends/ (podcast + text)

In this story, kindergartners are given pet rabbits intended to die so that they can learn about death and grief in a world where death has become increasingly rare.

The point(s) of the story is well taken, but it didn't entirely work for me -- somehow the mother's character felt removed to me. I wonder whether that might have been deliberate, but if so, I'm not sure what that distancing accomplished, or was meant to accomplish.

I did notice a reader's comment on the podcast link about how the reader's family still cannot mention a deceased pet's name four years later without pain. I think that's unfortunate. I try to make a point to remember and talk about my deceased pets. Remembering the good makes it much less painful for me.

68amysisson
Ago 30, 2016, 11:57 pm

Story # 267

Title: "MPDB"
Author: Tyler Young
Length: 973 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-22
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/mpdb-by-tyler-young/

This was a marginally cute story about a woman who's inspired to take a little more enjoyment out of life by a young man she encounters, with a twist. In a way, it felt a little too on the nose for my taste, considering that I was familiar with that particular cliche....

69amysisson
Ago 31, 2016, 1:03 pm

Story # 268

Title: "Sustaining Memory"
Author: Coral Moore
Length: 1,968 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2016-08-01
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-18-sustaining-memory-by-coral-moore/

This is a heartfelt story about a woman who must sacrifice her few remaining memories -- which she isn't even sure belong to her -- in order to re-start life on a post-disaster world. It's nicely written, but I found the overall concept a little too contrived for my taste; I don't see how an individual's memories have any bearing on whether the AI hidden in the planet's core can kickstart the necessary biological/environmental processes.

70amysisson
Editado: Ago 31, 2016, 2:04 pm

Story # 269

Title: "Liza and the Crazy Water Man"
Author: Andy Duncan
Length: _____________
Category: ______________
Where Published: Starlight 1 (anthology)
When Published: 1996
Original Publication:
Rating:
Link: N/A

need to complete

71amysisson
Ago 31, 2016, 10:00 pm

Story # 270

Title: "The Day Poppo Came Down to Breakfast, Twice"
Author: James Alan Gotaas
Length: 758 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-29
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/clones/james-alan-gotaas/the-day-...

This is a cutesy piece with body snatchers. Didn't quite work for me.

72amysisson
Set 3, 2016, 11:39 am

Story # 271

Title: "Oh Susanna"
Author: Mandy Nicol
Length: 215 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-23
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/oh-susanna-by-mandy-nicol/

In this mainstream micro-story, a woman observes her female co-worker with annoyance until she finds out something about the other woman's life.

73amysisson
Set 3, 2016, 12:24 pm

Story # 272

Title: "On the Eyeball Floor"
Author: Tina Connolly
Length: 3,921 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2008-06-02
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080602/eyeball-f.shtml

I enjoyed many aspects of this story about a man whose job is to help cyborgs develop awareness, but it felt a little muddled and therefore unsatisfying to me. Also, although this is not the fault of the author (I may have missed an obvious clue), I had it fixed in my mind that the narrator was a woman, so I found it disconcerting when I realized it was a man.

74amysisson
Set 6, 2016, 11:42 pm

Story # 273

Title: "Fingerprints"
Author: Jason M. Harley
Length: 965 words
Category: Short story (dark fantasy)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-30
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/fingerprints-by-jason-m-harley/

I'm afraid that this story, about a man haunted by the ghost of his dead husband, felt rather clunky to me. The sections were short and choppy, and there were a few sentences that I couldn't parse even after reading them several times, such as the second of these two:

Mark had come back. And that — not how, not what Mark might be, nor what he thought-wanted-needed Kyle to become in turn — didn’t matter.

75amysisson
Set 6, 2016, 11:55 pm

Story # 274

Title: "Hole in the Wall"
Author: Lauren Triola
Length: 977 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-08-31
Rating:
Link: http://everydayfiction.com/hole-in-the-wall-by-lauren-triola/

Ouch, not much luck with Every Day Fiction stories lately. This one may have been trying for a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy absurdity vibe, but if so, it didn't work for me. A man keeps waking up in random places, apparently transported by the holes in his apartment wall where he's tacked up an astronomy poster.

76amysisson
Set 9, 2016, 5:15 pm

Story # 275

Title: "Weaponized Ghosts of the 96th Infantry"
Author: James Van Pelt
Length: 1,169 words
Category: Short story (science fiction/dark fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-09-09
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/modern-fantasy/james-van-pelt/weaponized-...

This is a fun, dark short story about the military deliberating creating vengeful ghosts as a weapon. I liked it, but found the end very predictable.

77amysisson
Editado: Set 10, 2016, 10:49 am

Story # 276

Title: "Hillary’s First 100 Days"
Author: David Mandel
Length: 788 words
Category: Short story (mainstream / political satire)
Where Published: New York Times Book Review
When Published: 2016-09-09
Rating:
Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/books/review/hillarys-first-100-days.html?_r=0 (may require registration)

Back in June, the New York Times Book Review published "The Arrangements" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, a story written from the POV of Melania Trump. They noted that they would be publishing another piece about Hillary Clinton later. This is that piece. However, unlike "The Arrangements", it would be a real stretch to call this a "story"; rather, it reads like a Maureen Down column of political satire. It's a list of jokes. Some of them are funny, and it works fine as political satire, but this is nothing like the surprisingly thoughtful piece about Trump. I feel like the author of this one took the easy way out.

78amysisson
Editado: Set 11, 2016, 10:03 am

Story # 277

Title: "Paperclips and Memories and Things That Won't Be Missed"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 741 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World and Other Stories (collection)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication: Apex, May 2014
Rating:
Link: http://www.apex-magazine.com/paperclips-and-memories-and-things-that-wont-be-mis...

Another lovely flash piece. In this one, a ghost explains what she collects, and why.

79amysisson
Set 11, 2016, 10:10 am

Story # 278

Title: "Please Approve the Dissertation Research of Angtor"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 1,359 words
Category: Short story (science fiction / humor)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World and Other Stories (collection)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication: UFO 4 (anthology), October 2015
Rating:
Link: https://www.baen.com/Chapters/9780988432864/9780988432864___4.htm

This piece, written as a series of e-mails, is humor, but it didn't quite work for me.

80amysisson
Set 12, 2016, 12:48 pm

Story # 279

Title: "Th Fifth Lttr"
Author: S. Qiouyi Lu
Length: 845 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: 2016-09-12
Rating:
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/magic-realism/s-qiouyi-lu/th-fifth...

I won't say much about the plot, because the title pretty much says it.... I found this clever but a little too gimmicky for my taste. To be fair, however, I think I'm spoiled for this concept by Mark Dunn's epistolary novel Ella Minnow Pea.

81amysisson
Set 12, 2016, 3:23 pm

Story # 280

Title: "Elizabeth's Pirate Army"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 756 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World and Other Stories (collection)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication: Fireside, December 2013
Rating:
Link: http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue8/chapter/elizabeths-pirate-army/

In this short piece, a girl starts an army of neighborhood children to battle a land kraken.

I liked Elizabeth's independence, and the way she decided she would be a better leader of her own army rather than trying to convince the neighborhood boys to join theirs, but the story felt a little slight to me.

82amysisson
Set 12, 2016, 6:27 pm

Story # 281

Title: "Honeybee"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 991 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World and Other Stories (collection)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication: Flash Fiction Online, September 2014
Rating:
Link: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/honeybee/

This story is set is a post-environmental disaster world in which many crops have gone extinct because humans weren't able to save the bees.

83amysisson
Set 13, 2016, 1:53 pm

Story # 281

Title: "Dragon-Smoked Barbeque"
Author: M.K. Hutchins
Length: 755 words
Category: Short story (fantasy)
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: 2016-09-12
Rating:
Link: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2016/20160912/hutchinsbarbeque-f.shtml

This is a charming flash story about memories and barbeque.

84amysisson
Set 13, 2016, 2:26 pm

Story # 282

Title: "Anabaptist"
Author: Daniel Rosen
Length: 4,545 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Apex Magazine
When Published: 2016-02-08
Rating:
Link: http://www.apex-magazine.com/anabaptist/

This is a thoughtful story about two brothers in an Anabaptist/Amish community, whose life is not quite what they thought it was.

85amysisson
Set 14, 2016, 1:53 pm

Story # 283

Title: "Do Not Question the University"
Author: PC Keeler
Length: 1,276 words
Category: Short story (science fiction)
Where Published: Diabolical Plots
When Published: 2016-09-02
Rating:
Link: http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-19-do-not-question-the-university-by-p...

In this story, education is so expensive and unattainable that potential students compete for the right to give six years of unerring obedience to "The University."

Four things kept me from enjoying this story as much as I might have otherwise:

1) It felt too long for the concept by at least 30%.

2) There were things that seemed inherently contradictory. At one point, the story says that one in ten students admitted each year would "squander the priceless gift of Education" while one in twenty would fail despite their best efforts. Later, the story says that Albert's "wastrel classmates" would take and fail their multiple choice tests. That sounds like a lot more than 1 in 10 or 1 in 20.

3) I could have done without statements such as: "It was solely by the generosity of The University and its ancient, mythical Donors that any man could become Educated, by surrendering himself to the wise and remorseless command of The University. To be given the opportunity for Education and to waste that chance was the most foolish possible outcome a man could achieve." emphasis mine

The story doesn't say that females are excluded, but since this is far future science fiction, and therefore a world that different than the one I am living in now, I have no way of knowing whether females are included or not.

4) The story tries a little too hard. I actually like adverbs, but this made me cringe: "secrets that many of the Uneducated would beamingly murder to learn...." Beamingly?

86amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:48 pm

Story # 284

Title: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate"
Author: Ted Chiang
Length: 10,583 words
Category: Novelette (fantasy)
Where Published: Subterranean Press
When Published: 2007
Rating:
Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20080214145811/http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/fiction/tc0...

Late to the party on this story, in which a man learns via a magic time-traveling gate that he cannot change the outcome of his life, but he can still play a significant, secret role in it, in unexpected ways. This is classic Chiang about the fact that lack of free will does not have to take away meaning in life. I found it a little convoluted, and not as effective as the exact same message as conveyed in Story of Your Life.

87amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:46 pm

Story # 285

Title: "Dress Rehearsal"
Author: Kate Norris
Length: 5,000 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: One Teen Story
When Published: 2016-08
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, teenagers on a drama club trip sneak out at night with tragic consequences. The story had me fairly engrossed but the last section fell completely flat for me and made the POV charcter ultimately unsympathetic to me. (It also bugged the crap out of me that the club's faculty adviser lost his job over the incident, after doing everything he could to make sure the kids were not sneaking out. That outcome was realistic, but I dislike that there always has to be an adult scapegoat every time teenagers do something stupid.)

88amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:43 pm

Story # 286

Title: "If I Could Give This Time Machine Zero Stars, I Would"
Author: James Wesley Rogers
Length: 800 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (science fiction / humor)
Where Published: Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (anthology)
When Published: 2016-09
Rating:
Link: N/A

This story is told entirely in Amazon-like product reviews. Nicely done.

89amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:43 pm

Story # 287

Title: "My Enemy, The Unicorn"
Author: Bill Ferris
Length: 2,900 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (fantasy / humor)
Where Published: Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (anthology)
When Published: 2016-09
Rating:
Link: N/A

In this story, a Peruvian chullachaqui in captivity hates the unicorn in the enclosure next door, but learns something unexpected about his neighbor. This story was surprisingly sweet.

90amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:42 pm

Story # 288

Title: "The Thirteenth Ride"
Author: Holly Lynn Walrath
Length: 425 words
Category: Short story (literary)
Where Published: Vine Leaves Literary Journal
When Published: 2016-05
Rating:
Link: http://www.vineleavesliteraryjournal.com/issue-17-may-2016.html

This publication features "vignettes" rather than traditional stories; this one, about riding a roller coaster over and over, was nicely done.

91amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:40 pm

Story # 289

Title: "Stone Wall Truth"
Author: Caroline M. Yoachim
Length: 8,076 words
Category: Novelette (fantasy)
Where Published: Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World (collection)
When Published: 2016-08
Original Publication: Asimov's, February 2010
Rating:
Link: http://carolineyoachim.com/Stories/StoneWallTruth.html

This was an interesting story in which criminals (as charged by ever-changing military dictators) are flayed and pinned up on a wall that highlights their dark shadows within, before being sewn back together by a surgeon and shunned by society due to the very visible scars. I loved the idea, but ultimately the story was a bit too abstract for my taste.

92amysisson
Editado: Out 2, 2016, 1:39 pm

Story # 290

Title: NFL Legend Joins Ballet
Author: Katie Lohr
Length: 775 words (est. based on column inch count)
Category: Flash fiction (humor)
Where Published: Splickety Herald
When Published: 2016-03
Rating:
Link: N/A

The theme of this particular Splickety issue is fake news stories; the title of this one is self-explanatory. It was more humorous than I would have expected.

93amysisson
Out 2, 2016, 1:38 pm

Story # 291

Title: "Mistaken Identity"
Author: Daniel J. Davis
Length: 4,800 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Short story (science fiction / fantasy / humor)
Where Published: Unidentified Funny Objects 5
When Published: 2016
Rating:
Link: N/A

This is a fun story about an assistant D.A. who is mistakenly stalked by a duck-inspired superhero (Night Mallard!). I enjoyed the humor a lot, but the ending petered out for me a bit.

94amysisson
Jan 2, 2017, 1:10 am

Alas, 2016 ended ... badly for me. I spent the last three months of it in various stages of medical treatment, only to be served with divorce papers from a husband who did not bother to tell me he wanted a divorce.

2016 can go suck it.

Rather than play a fruitless game of catch-up on short fiction reading, I'm starting fresh with 2017.

95AnnieMod
Jan 2, 2017, 8:01 am

I hope your health is getting better. And hugs for the divorce thingie - sometimes bad things happen for a reason. Hopefully 2017 will a lot better for you.

96amysisson
Jan 2, 2017, 9:29 pm

Thanks, Annie!