amysisson's Short Story Reading for 2022 Quarter 1

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amysisson's Short Story Reading for 2022 Quarter 1

1amysisson
Editado: Mar 25, 2022, 1:09 pm

JANUARY 2022

1. (1st in Jan) - Jan 1, 2022 (read Jan 2) - "The Last Caricature of Jean Moulin" by Andrea Kriz. Daily Science Fiction, Dec 31, 2021.
2. (2nd in Jan) - Jan 2, 2022 (read Jan 5) - "Werewolf" by U.M. Celovska. Daily Science Fiction, January 3, 2022.
3. (3rd in Jan) - Jan 3, 2022 (read Jan 6) - "The Devil You Don't Know" by Dave Henrickson. Daily Science Fiction, January 4, 2022.
4. (4th in Jan) - Jan 4, 2022 (read Jan 7) - "No One at the Dock" by Gu Shi. Clarkesworld, January 2022.
5. (5th in Jan) - Jan 5, 2022 (read Jan 8) - "The Ansible Light" by Chloe Smith. Daily Science Fiction, January 4, 2022.
6. (6th in Jan) - Jan 6, 2022 (read Jan 9) - "Dissent: A Five-Course Meal (With Suggested Pairings)" by Aimee Ogden. Lightspeed, January 2022.
7. (7th in Jan) - Jan 7, 2022 (read Jan 10) - "Ootheca" by Mário de Seabra Coelho. Strange Horizons, February 15, 2021.
8. (8th in Jan) - Jan 8, 2022 (read Jan 10) - "The Last Library" by Brian Trent. Nature, December 3, 2021.
9. (9th in Jan) - Jan 9, 2022 (read Jan 11) - "The Last Dangerous Vision" by Glen Engel-Cox. Riddled with Arrows, Spring 2021.
10. (10th in Jan) - Jan 10, 2022 (read Jan 11) - "The Falling" by M.V. Melcer. Clarkesworld 178, July 2021.
11. (11th in Jan) - Jan 11, 2022 (read Jan 12) - "Resistance in a Drop of DNA" by Andrea Kriz. Clarkesworld 179, August 2021.
12. (12th in Jan) - Jan 12, 2022 (read Jan 13) - "Cures for Hiccups" by Rachel Rodman. Daily Science Fiction, January 4, 2022.
13. (13th in Jan) - Jan 13, 2022 (read Jan 13) - "Portuguese Essay" by George Tom. ParSec, Winter 2021.
14. (14th in Jan) - Jan 13, 2022 (read Jan 13) - "Moon-Boy" by Jess Hyslop. Metastellar, December 2021 (reprint).
15. (15th in Jan) - Jan 14, 2022 (read Jan 14) - "Leader of the Pack" by Alter S. Reiss. Daily Science Fiction, January 10, 2022.
16. (16th in Jan) - Jan 14, 2022 (read Jan 14) - "Shattered Petals of Celadon" by M.K. Hutchins. Daily Science Fiction, January 11, 2022.
17. (17th in Jan) - Jan 15, 2022 (read Jan 15) - "Help Her Fit In" by Tamlyn Dreaver. Daily Science Fiction, January 12, 2022.
18. (18th in Jan) - Jan 16, 2022 (read Jan 16) - "Invasion" by Candice R. Lisle. Daily Science Fiction, January 13, 2022.
19. (19th in Jan) - Jan 17, 2022 (read Jan 17) - "A Stirring of Wings" by Ken Altabef. Daily Science Fiction, January 14, 2022.
20. (20th in Jan) - Jan 17, 2022 (read Jan 17) - "The Future Library" by Peng Shepherd. Tor.com, August 18, 2021.
21. (21st in Jan) - Jan 18, 2022 (read Jan 18) - "Flesh of my Fin" by Shannon Fay. Daily Science Fiction, January 17, 2022.
22. (22nd in Jan) - Jan 18, 2022 (read Jan 18) - "Commuting" by S.A. McKenzie. Daily Science Fiction, January 18, 2022.
23. (23rd in Jan) - Jan 19, 2022 (read Jan 19) - "Last Flight" by Bret Parent. Daily Science Fiction, January 19, 2022.
24. (24th in Jan) - Jan 19, 2022 (read Jan 19) - "Little Lila" by Susannah Rand. Strange Horizons, November 29, 2021.
25. (25th in Jan) - Jan 20, 2022 (read Jan 20) - "Mind the Meniscus" by Jason P. Burnham. Daily Science Fiction, January 20, 2022.
26. (26th in Jan) - Jan 20, 2022 (read Jan 20) - "The Shape of Wings and Feathers" by Jenny Rae Rappaport. Beneath Ceaseless Skies #338, September 9, 2021.
27. (27th in Jan) - Jan 20, 2022 (read Jan 20) - "The President's Advisor" by Barry Yedvobnick. Every Day Fiction, September 6, 2021.
28. (28th in Jan) - Jan 20, 2022 (read Jan 20) - "My Dreams Have Been Weird Since the Magpies Arrived" by Wendy Nikel. Nature, March 24, 2021.
29. (29th in Jan) - Jan 21, 2022 (read Jan 21) - "Counterparts" by Andrew Hansen. Daily Science Fiction, January 21, 2022.
30. (30th in Jan) - Jan 21, 2022 (read Jan 21) - "Reigning Cats and Human Doggies: How Humans Learned to Heel" by Alicia Hilton. Departure Mirror Quarterly, 2021.
31. (31st in Jan) - Jan 22, 2022 (read Jan 22) - "Ascend, Exalt, Love, Propagate, Rise!" by Sarah Kumari. Escape Pod 787, June 3, 2021.
32. (32nd in Jan) - Jan 22, 2022 (read Jan 22) - "Doomsday Derby" by micah epstein (lowercase intentional). Solarpunk Magazine, Jan/Feb 2002.
33. (33rd in Jan) - Jan 23, 2022 (read Jan 23) - "I Wear My Spiders in Remembrance of Myself" by Kel Coleman. Apparition Literary Magazine 15, August 5, 2021.
34. (34th in Jan) - Jan 23, 2022 (read Jan 23) - "A Telephone Call for Genevieve Snow" by Carmel Bird. Strange Fruits (anthology), 1995.
35. (35th in Jan) - Jan 24, 2022 (read Jan 24) - "God 47" by Laila Amado. Daily Science Fiction, January 24, 2022.
36. (36th in Jan) - Jan 25, 2022 (read Jan 25) - "2021" by Sean Vivier. Daily Science Fiction, January 25, 2022.
37. (37th in Jan) - Jan 25, 2022 (read Jan 25) - "Binaries" by S.B. Divya. Lightspeed 73, June 2016.
38. (38th in Jan) - Jan 26, 2022 (read Jan 26) - "Teleportitus" by Mark S. Bailen. Daily Science Fiction, January 26, 2022.
39. (39th in Jan) - Jan 26, 2022 (read Jan 26) - "Tevye From Fiddler on the Roof, Now a Rich Man, Receives a Letter From His" by Stephen Ruddy. McSweeney's, January 19, 2022.
40. (40th in Jan) - Jan 26, 2022 (read Jan 26) - "Bride, Knife, Flaming Horse" by M.L. Krishnan. Apparition Literary Magazine 14, April 26, 2021.
41. (41st in Jan) - Jan 27, 2022 (read Jan 27) - "Turning the Tide" by Dawn Vogel. Daily Science Fiction, January 27, 2022.
42. (42nd in Jan) - Jan 27, 2022 (read Jan 27) - "Burning Bright" by Shanna Germain. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
43. (43rd in Jan) - Jan 28, 2022 (read Jan 28) - "Tourists" by Marlan K. Smith. Daily Science Fiction, January 28, 2022.
44. (44th in Jan) - Jan 29, 2022 (read Jan 29) - "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place?" by Michael R. Underwood. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
45. (45th in Jan) - Jan 30, 2022 (read Jan 30) - "The Last Civilian" by R.P. Sand. Clarkesworld 172, January 2021.
46. (46th in Jan) - Jan 31, 2022 (read Jan 31) - "The Tangled Web" by Ferrett Steinmetz. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
47. (47th in Jan) - Jan 31, 2022 (read Jan 31) - "The Future History of Your Body" by Davian Aw. Daily Science Fiction, January 31, 2022.



FEBRUARY 2022

48. (1st in Feb) - Feb 1, 2022 (read Feb 1) - "Shadow Helper" by Eric M. Witchey. Daily Science Fiction, February 1, 2022.
49. (2nd in Feb) - Feb 1, 2022 (read Feb 1) - "Cost of Living" by Jolley Cornetto. Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, February 1, 2022.
50. (3rd in Feb) - Feb 1, 2022 (read Feb 1) - "Bloom" by Steve Beresford. Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, February 1, 2022.
51. (4th in Feb) - Feb 2, 2022 (read Feb 2) - "Space Unicorns and Magic Ovens" by Liam Hogan. Daily Science Fiction, February 2, 2022.
52. (5th in Feb) - Feb 2, 2022 (read Feb 2) - "Seeking Truth" by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
53. (6th in Feb) - Feb 2, 2022 (read Feb 2) - "Super Duper Fly" by Maurice Broaddus. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
54. (7th in Feb) - Feb 2, 2022 (read Feb 2) - "Ring in the New" by Deborah Walker. Nature, January 5, 2022.
55. (8th in Feb) - Feb 2, 2022 (listened Feb 2) - "Open House on Haunted Hill" by John Wiswell. LeVar Burton Reads (podcast), January 31, 2022.
56. (9th in Feb) - Feb 3, 2022 (read Feb 3) - "She Died As She Lived" by Riley Tao. Daily Science Fiction, February 3, 2022.
57. (10th in Feb) - Feb 3, 2022 (read Feb 3) - "The Lucky Ones" by Aimee Ogden. Nature, January 12, 2022.
58. (11th in Feb) - Feb 3, 2022 (read Feb 3) - "Red Light" by Sara M. Harvey. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
59. (12th in Feb) - Feb 4, 2022 (read Feb 4) - "Rock Hard Place" by Don Redwood. Daily Science Fiction, February 3, 2022.
60. (13th in Feb) - Feb 4, 2022 (read Feb 4) - "Synaesthetics" by Helena O'Connor. Nature, January 19, 2022.
61. (14th in Feb) - Feb 4, 2022 (read Feb 4) - "Santa CIS Episode One: No Saint" by Alethea Kontis. Upside Down (anthology), 2016.
62. (15th in Feb) - Feb 4, 2022 (read Feb 4) - "Wired Dreaming" by Paul Collins. Dreaming Down Under (anthology), 2001 (orig. 1998).
63. (16th in Feb) - Feb 4, 2022 (read Feb 4) - "Lions and Tigers and Girlfriends, Oh My!" by Tina Connolly. Escape Pod 822, February 3, 2022 (orig. in anthology format October 2020).
64. (17th in Feb) - Feb 5, 2022 (read Feb 5) - "The Singularity Graveyard" by Preston Grassmann. Nature, January 26, 2022.
65. (18th in Feb) - Feb 5, 2022 (read Feb 5) - "One Hundred and Fifty-Seven" by Diana Juncher. Nature, February 2, 2022.
66. (19th in Feb) - Feb 6, 2022 (read Feb 6) - "There Are No Hot Topics on Whukai" by Andrea Kriz. Lightspeed 132, May 2021.
67. (20th in Feb) - Feb 7, 2022 (read Feb 7) - "What To Expect When Your Daughter Returns from Neverland" by Luke Sekiguchi. Daily Science Fiction, February 7, 2022.
68. (21st in Feb) - Feb 8, 2022 (read Feb 8) - "Multiverse Apocalypse: A Villanelle" by Timothy Mudie. Daily Science Fiction, February 8, 2022.
69. (22nd in Feb) - Feb 9, 2022 (read Feb 9) - "Replicas" by Eric S. Fomley. Daily Science Fiction, February 9, 2022.
70. (23rd in Feb) - Feb 9, 2022 (read Feb 9) - "Slow News Day" by Kim Newman. The Best of Interzone (anthology), 1997.
71. (24th in Feb) - Feb 9, 2022 (read Feb 9) - "The Net of Babel" by David Langford. The Best of Interzone (anthology), 1997.
72. (25th in Feb) - Feb 10, 2022 (read Feb 10) - "Super. Hero." by Karen Brenchley. Daily Science Fiction, February 10, 2022.
73. (26th in Feb) - Feb 11, 2022 (read Feb 11) - "Questions Asked in the Belly of the World" by A.T. Greenblatt. Tor.com, September 29, 2021.
74. (27th in Feb) - Feb 12, 2022 (read Feb 12) - "The Ones Who Can't Let It Go" by John Wiswell. Nature, February 9, 2022.
75. (28th in Feb) - Feb 13, 2022 (read Feb 13) - "The Lay of Lilyfinger" by G.V. Anderson. Tor.com, May 5, 2021.
76. (29th in Feb) - Feb 14, 2022 (read Feb 15) - "The Seven" by James Dorr. Daily Science Fiction, February 10, 2022.
77. (30th in Feb) - Feb 15, 2022 (read Feb 15) - "Don't Think About Dinosaurs" by Rock Forsberg. Daily Science Fiction, February 14, 2022.
78. (31st in Feb) - Feb 15, 2022 (read Feb 15) - "The Cities Rise Up on Legs of Lead" by Daniel Ausema. Daily Science Fiction, February 15, 2022.
79. (32nd in Feb) - Feb 16, 2022 (read Feb 18) - "Smile More" by Gwen Whiting. Daily Science Fiction, February 16, 2022.
80. (33rd in Feb) - Feb 17, 2022 (read Feb 18) - "The Messenger" by Mari Ness. Daily Science Fiction, February 17, 2022.
81. (34th in Feb) - Feb 18, 2022 (read Feb 18) - "Infinite Ripples In A Single Pool" by Priya Chand. Daily Science Fiction, February 18, 2022.
82. (35th in Feb) - Feb 19, 2022 (read Feb 19) - "Masquerade Season" by 'Pemi Aguda. Tor.com, March 24, 2021.
83. (36th in Feb) - Feb 20, 2022 (read Feb 20) - "Cash is King" by D.J. Rozell. Nature, February 16, 2022.
84. (37th in Feb) - Feb 20, 2022 (read Feb 20) - "Red Mother" by Elizabeth Bear. Tor.com, June 23, 2021.
85. (38th in Feb) - Feb 21, 2022 (read Feb 21) - "Last Teen Standing" by Samara Lo. Daily Science Fiction, February 21, 2022.
86. (39th in Feb) - Feb 22, 2022 (read Feb 22) - "When It Pours" by Carola Scheina. Daily Science Fiction, February 22, 2022.
87. (40th in Feb) - Feb 22, 2022 (read Feb 22) - "The Tinder Box" by Kate Elliott. Tor.com, December 1, 2021.
88. (41st in Feb) - Feb 23, 2022 (read Feb 23) - "The Cube" by Jonathan Worlde. Daily Science Fiction, February 23, 2022.
89. (42nd in Feb) - Feb 24, 2022 (read Feb 25) - "The Fairest World" by Chris Bailey. Daily Science Fiction, February 24, 2022.
90. (43rd in Feb) - Feb 25 (read Feb 25) - "Mongoose" by Jerry Spinelli. The Library Card (collection), 1997.
91. (44th in Feb) - Feb 26, 2022 (read Feb 26) - "The Last Passenger" by Melissa Mead. Daily Science Fiction, February 25, 2022.
92. (45th in Feb) - Feb 27, 2022 (read March 1) - "The Skin Trader" by Matt Tighe. Daily Science Fiction, February 28, 2022.
93. (46th in Feb) - Feb 28, 2022 (read March 1) - "Knock Knock" by Jack McDevitt. Nature, February 23, 2022.



MARCH 2022

94. (1st in Mar) - Mar 1, 2022 (read Mar 2) - "Dogman Relates the Parable of Context" by Peter S. Drang. Nature, March 2, 2022.
95. (2nd in Mar) - Mar 2, 2022 (read Mar 6) - "The Lobby of The Hotel McCoy" by R. Leigh Hennig. Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, March 2, 2022.
96. (3rd in Mar) - Mar 3, 2022 (read Mar 6) - "Moon Dust" by Shannon Fay. Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, March 2, 2022.
97. (4th in Mar) - Mar 4, 2022 (listened Mar 6) - "The Sixth Borough" by Jonathan Safran Foer. Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology), October 2009.
98. (5th in Mar) - Mar 5, 2022 (listened Mar 6) - "Drunken Mimi" by Aimee Bender. Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology), October 2009.
99. (6th in Mar) - Mar 6, 2022 (listened Mar 8) - "The Little Green Monster" by Haruki Murakami. Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology), October 2009.
100. (7th in Mar) - Mar 7, 2022 (listened Mar 9) - "Swept Away" by T.C. Boyle. Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology), October 2009.
101. (8th in Mar) - Mar 8, 2022 (listened Mar 9) - "The Occasional Garden" by Saki. Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology), October 2009.
102. (9th in Mar) - Mar 9, 2022 (read Mar 15) - "Your Hero Can't Save You Now" by Katie Conrad. Daily Science Fiction, March 1, 2022.
103. (10th in Mar) - Mar 10, 2022 (read Mar 15) - "Kernels of Resistance" by Mary Alexandra Agner. Daily Science Fiction, March 2, 2022.
104. (11th in Mar) - Mar 11, 2022 (read Mar 17) - "Fermi's Answer" by Daniel Scott White and E.E. King. Daily Science Fiction, March 3, 2022.
105. (12th in Mar) - Mar 12, 2022 (read Mar 17) - "Our Grasp, Unbroken" by Dawn Bonanno. Daily Science Fiction, March 4, 2022.
106. (13th in Mar) - Mar 13, 2022 (read Mar 17) - "The Resilience of Humanity" by Gretchen Tessmer. Nature, March 16, 2022.
107. (14th in Mar) - Mar 14, 2022 (read Mar 18) - "Blood Doesn't Come Out" by Michael Crichton. McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (anthology), 2002.
108. (15th in Mar) - Mar 15, 2022 (read Mar 19) - "Private Grave 9" by Karen Joy Fowler. McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (anthology), 2002.
109. (16th in Mar) - Mar 16, 2022 (read Mar 22) - "Brooks Too Broad for Leaping" by Charles Sheffield. Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (anthology), 1998.
111. (17th in Mar) - Mar 17, 2022 (read Mar 23) - "Distracted" by __________
112. (18th in Mar) - Mar 18, 2022 (read Mar 23) - "

"The Rendez-Vous"
Author: Nancy Johnston

2amysisson
Editado: Jan 17, 2022, 8:47 pm

template:

Story #
Date Read:

Title:
Author:
Length:
Category:
Genre:
Subgenre:
Where Published:
When Published:
Original Publication (if applicable):
Rating:
Link (if applicable):

3amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:20 pm

Story # 1
Date Read: January 2, 2020

Title: "The Last Caricature of Jean Moulin"
Author: Andrea Kriz
Length: 1,371 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Sub-genre: Time travel
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: December 31, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/andrea-kriz/the-last...

This story is (I think) about two people in a post-apocalyptic world using a cobbled together time machine to try to obtain a caricature allegedly drawn by a French Resistance leader while imprisoned. It has something to say about the nature of art, but it read as stream of consciousness to me. (In its defense, I first read it on my phone, not realizing that my phone was displaying it as one long paragraph when that is not how it's actually formatted.)

4amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:20 pm

Story # 2
Date Read: January 6, 2022

Title: "Werewolf"
Author: U.M. Celovska
Length: 503 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Horror
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 3, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/Monsters/u-m-celovska/werewolf
Reverse werewolf story. Nicely done, but I did find it hard to enjoy due to the main character's actions, and didn't care for the repetition of the phrase "I have a secret" at the end.

5amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:21 pm

Story # 3
Date Read: January 6, 2022

Title: "The Devil You Don't Know"
Author: Dave Henrickson
Length: 808 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Horror
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 4, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/religious/dave-henrickson/the-devil-you-...

This is about a terminally ill man who is approached by a devil (not The Devil) with a deal for his soul. It was okay, and had some amusing lines.

6amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:21 pm

Story #4
Date Read: January 7, 2022

Title: "No One at the Wild Dock"
Author: Gu Shi
Translator: S. Qiouyi Lu
Length: 6,080 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: AI
Where Published: Clarkesworld
When Published: January 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): Möbius Continuum (author's collection), January 2020
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://clarkesworldmagazine.com/gu_01_22/

This is an effective story about an AI learning ... well, just learning. Not just what it means to be human, or how to be more human-like, but kind of beyond that. I thought it was very well done, and I also liked that the AI's name was "Ai", which I would pronounce "I". This is translated from Chinese, so I'm not sure how that plays out in the original.

7amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:21 pm

Story #5
Date Read: January 8, 2022

Title: "The Ansible Light"
Author: Chloe Smith
Length: 483 words
Category: Mircofiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Space travel
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 5, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable):
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/space-travel/chloe-smith/the-ans...

I always like stories about relativistic time effects in space travel, and I truly enjoyed the premise behind this one, but it, well, didn't seem to have an ending. I don't mind if there's more than one way I can interpret an ambiguous ending, but in this case I have no idea whatsoever if anything happened. I also would have liked to know more about the mission.

8amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:22 pm

Story #6
Date Read: January 9, 2022

Title: "Dissent: A Five-Course Meal (With Suggested Pairings)"
Author: Aimee Ogden
Length: 724 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social
Where Published: Lightspeed
When Published: January 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/dissent-a-five-course-meal-with-sugge...

This borrowed form flash piece is formatted as a menu, with each course a snapshot of a particular moment during a woman's life as her country (presumably the U.S.) becomes increasingly hostile and abusive to LGBTQ individuals, and employs child labor. Nicely done.

9amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:22 pm

Story 7#
Date Read: January 10, 2022

Title: "Ootheca"
Author: Mário de Seabra Coelho
Length: 7,158 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Horror
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: February 15, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable):
Rating:
Link (if applicable): http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/ootheca/

This story is difficult to describe. I could have called it "horror (fantasy)" or "fantasy (horror)", but I went with the latter because I didn't feel the point was to be horrifying. Bilal, a man who woke up "four months, two weeks, three days, and about ten hours ago" with cockroaches where his teeth used to be, lives in post-apocalyptic world in which the Hagged try to adjust to whatever transformation they've undergone, all while being discriminated against by the unaffected.

This story has a dream quality to it, largely due to the seemingly arbitrary nature of the transformations themselves , as well as the unwritten rules people follow to lessen their risk of being Hagged. I don't always mind when a lot goes unexplained in a story, but I was left wanting a bit more in this case.

10amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:22 pm

Story #8
Date Read: January 10, 2022

Title: "The Last Library"
Author: Brian Trent
Length: 1,005 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Time travel
Where Published: Nature
When Published: December 3, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03637-6

I liked the purpose to which time travel is put in this story, but I thought the relationship was highly implausible -- I didn't see any reason that Victor would use a "civilian," as it were, as his partner. Why didn't two people from his own time do the job (scanning lost libraries of Earth)?

11amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 4:53 pm

Story #9
Date Read: January 11, 2022

Title: "The Last Dangerous Vision"
Author: Glen Engel-Cox
Length: 484 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Satire
Subgenre:
Where Published: Riddled with Arrows
When Published: Spring 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.riddledwitharrows.com/rwa-4-1-message-in-a-bottle/fashion-a-weapon/

This flash piece is both metafiction and (in my opinion) satire. It's written in first person, and is about the author selling a story to Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions, the infamous "will it ever come out?" anthology. The author's "story" is so horrible that he receives doxxing threats and ultimately has to go off the grid in Montana -- but we never find out what that story is about and why it's so horrible. The writing is fine, and it fulfills this zine's goal of publishing self-referential fiction about writing, but I didn't feel as engaged as I would have liked. Definitely a mileage-may-vary story.

12amysisson
Editado: Jan 11, 2022, 6:34 pm

Story #10
Date Read: January 11, 2022

Title: "The Falling"
Author: M.V. Melcer
Length: 4,780 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Clarkesworld 178
When Published: July 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://clarkesworldmagazine.com/melcer_07_21/

First five-star story of the year! I want to point to this story and shout, "This! This is why I read science fiction!" "The Falling" begins with the main character as a seven-year-old, living with their* parents and twin sister on a space colony made of rings that is just barely escaping the astronomical entity (maybe an expanding black hole? is that possible?) that has consumed the sun and Earth and is making its way through the rest of our solar system.

This reminds me a little of Ted Chiang's writing, in that it's based in hard science that shapes the characters' lives and at the same time acts as a metaphor. The world-building is wonderful, the characters are realized, and overall the story is emotionally powerful.

I notice my two highest rated stories out of the first ten are both from Clarkesworld. Small number statistics, but still.

13amysisson
Jan 12, 2022, 10:25 pm

Story #11
Date Read: January 12, 2022

Title: "Resistance in a Drop of DNA"
Author: Andrea Kriz
Length: 1,770 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Alternate history
Where Published: Clarkesworld #179
When Published: August 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://clarkesworldmagazine.com/kriz_08_21/

In this alternate history tale, the French Resistance uses DNA in its fight against the Occupation. It's written in second person, and done well enough that it becomes transparent, which is nice. I would have liked more elaboration on how the DNA was used (there's a brief mention), but the story is more character-driven in spite of the science.

14amysisson
Editado: Jan 13, 2022, 1:18 pm

Story #12
Date Read: January 13, 2022

Title: "Cures for Hiccups"
Author: Rachel Rodman
Length: 1,158 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Humor
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 7, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/sf-fantasy/rachel-rodman/cures-fo...

I'm not a stickler for thinking every story has to have "story" in it, and I don't mind list-format stories -- some of them are really quite brilliant. This one didn't work for me, however. If it were a 10-item list posted on Facebook I would have been amused by it, but the humor wore off for me long before the last line on this 80-item list. As always, YMMV.

15amysisson
Jan 13, 2022, 1:53 pm

Story #13
Date Read: January 13, 2022

Title: "Portuguese Essay"
Author: George Tom
Length: 2,039 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: ParSec
When Published: Winter 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

This is an interesting story about a man obsessed with the imprecision of language, and the connotations that weigh down every word. He wants something pure, and thinks he's found a way to get it. I enjoyed the story, but there were several points throughout when I didn't understand what the author meant, which was kind of apropos!

16amysisson
Jan 13, 2022, 3:55 pm

Story #14
Date Read: January 13, 2021

Title: "Moon-Boy"
Author: Jess Hyslop
Length: 6,230 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Metastellar
When Published: December 3, 2021 (reprint)
Original Publication (if applicable): Black Static 78/79, March 2021
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.metastellar.com/2021/12/03/moon-boy/

In this story, Naomi daydreams about meeting a Moon colonist, or "Moon-Boy" as she calls him, in part as an escape from her abusive home situation.

I really enjoyed the first part of the story, with the details (filtered through Naomi's POV) about the established Moon colony. I also thought that the relationship she and her mother have with Naomi's father was well-described. Naomi believes she'll finally get the chance to meet her Moon-Boy when her class goes on a museum trip where a Moon colony family will be speaking, but she's crushed with disappointment when he's not the boy of her dreams.

Then, somewhat abruptly, Naomi finds the courage to convince her mother to leave the abusive situation, and the story ends with them setting out on the road. I think we're meant to infer that either without her wish-fulfillment escapism, Naomi finally sees clearly that her home situation is intolerable. While I liked the story and the outcome, for me the seam between these two parts of the story is visible.

17amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:30 pm

Story #15
Date Read: January 14, 2022

Title: "Leader of the Pack"
Author: Alter S. Reiss
Length: 552 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 10, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/virtual-reality/alter-s-reiss/le...

A lecturer explains how he solved the problem of getting post-war endangered primates to accept robot surrogates as companions. Clever.

18amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:30 pm

Story #16
Date Read: January 14, 2022

Title: "Shattered Petals of Celadon"
Author: M.K. Hutchins
Length: 1,015 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Literary
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 11, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/magic-realism/m-k-hutchins/shatte...

I wasn't sure how I felt about this story right as I finished reading it, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It's about the emotional burden that comes along with accepting apologies, even those that have some sincerity behind them. Given some of the things going on in today's world, I felt this was very timely.

19amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:29 pm

Story #17
Date Read: January 15, 2022

Title: "Help Her Fit In"
Author: Tamlyn Dreaver
Length: 732 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 12, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/future-societies/tamlyn-dreaver/...

I loved the details about the changeling's (if that's what she was) actions and appearance, but the message of the story felt a tiny bit heavy-handed to me.

20amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:28 pm

Story #18
Date Read: January 16, 2022

Title: "Invasion"
Author: Candice R. Lisle
Length: 100 words
Category: Microfiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 13, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/candice-r-lisle/invasion_...

This is a drabble, or a story that's exactly 100 words. In my mind, this isn't so much a story as a thought.

21amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:28 pm

Story #19
Date Read: January 17, 2022

Title: "A Stirring of Wings"
Author: Ken Altabef
Length: 996 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 14, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fantasy/ken-altabef/a-stirring-of-wings

A virtually blind hermit sits in his castle and muses upon his past, his fate, and the one thing he is still able to enjoy.

I know it was an authorial choice, but the fancy language was a little too much for me, such as "Add one more death scream to my castle casket's infernal cacophony."

22amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:29 pm

Story #20
Date Read: January 17, 2022

Title: "The Future Library"
Author: Peng Shepherd
Length: 11,198 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Environmental
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: August 18, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/08/18/the-future-library-peng-shepherd/

This is a gorgeous novelette that combines a touching love story with a wonderous tale about humanity's relationship trees and forests, and a commentary on how short-sighted humans may remain no matter how bad things get.

23amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:29 pm

Story #21
Date Read: January 18, 2022

Title: "Flesh of My Fin"
Author: Shannon Fay
Length: 404 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 17, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fantasy/shannon-fay/flesh-of-my-fin

I liked the voice in this short-short (loved the mention of gaslighting and the way kids were allowed to look after themselves in the 90s), but the story itself was too slight to satisfy me.

24amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:29 pm

Story #22
Date Read: January 18, 2022

Title: "Commuting"
Author: S.A. McKenzie
Length: 853 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Dark fantasy
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 18, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/Monsters/s-a-mckenzie/commuting

Demons have been done to death (no pun intended), especially in flash fiction, but this story had an original element that really tickled me.

25amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:21 pm

Story #23
Date Read: January 19, 2022

Title: "Last Flight"
Author: Bret Parent
Length: 868 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 19, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/robots-and-computers/bret-parent...

This part is on me: the descriptions of the injured bird were difficult for me to read because I can't bear to think about animals/birds in pain. But aside from that, I found this confusing. What was in the supply cache and how would it have helped? What does "The furniture resisted him at first" mean? There was no other indication I could see that the furniture was animated or sentient.

26amysisson
Editado: Jan 19, 2022, 4:28 pm

Story #24
Date Read: January 19, 2022

Title: "Little Lila"
Author: Susannah Rand
Length: 5,120 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social
Where Published: Strange Horizons
When Published: November 29, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/little-lila/

This is about a girl named Lila who suffers because her mother (there's no second parent in the picture) can't afford to buy her a SuperNat, which children use to improve and/or alter their appearance. It's about the overemphasis on beauty, haves and have-nots, envy, jealousy, peer pressure, and the fickleness of friends.

This didn't quite work for me. Lila is in a situation that deserves sympathy, but I didn't find her sympathetic -- although maybe the point was that the toll this kind of social pressure takes on a child can warp their personality.

It also bugged me that Lila has a little sister living in the same house, but she's mentioned only twice and we don't get a name or age.

27amysisson
Jan 20, 2022, 12:59 pm

Story #25
Date Read: January 20, 2022

Title: "Mind the Meniscus"
Author: Jason P. Burnham
Length: 100 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 20, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/space-travel/jason-p-burnham/min...

Another drabble, about an alien lifeform that attaches itself to a spaceship.

I don't know if it's intentional on the author's part, but the last spoken dialogue could be either the alien entity or the ship's XO. If it's the alien, it means the "they" who are chasing it are breaching sub-light space, and if it's the XO, it means the alien is breaching the ship -- and if it's breaching the ship just because humans don't know about what "lies beneath" the interstellar medium, that doesn't make sense to me.

28amysisson
Jan 20, 2022, 5:22 pm

Story #26
Date Read: January 20, 2022

Title: "The Shape of Wings and Feathers"
Author: Jenny Rae Rappaport
Length: 5,216 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #338
When Published: September 9, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-shape-of-wings-and-feathers/

I loved the premise of this story (a young girl, whose age isn't given), faces a dangerous test at her school for magic. I also enjoyed the alternating POV, between Bryce and the elderly woman she calls Granny. However, for me the story was longer than it needed to be and a little repetitive in places, but the real issue was that we don't really find out what happens. Does Bryce stay in Granny's world (Granny is a giant, by the way)? Was that the test? Did she pass? I'm open-minded about ambiguous endings, but I was really disappointed not to get a definitive ending in this case.

29amysisson
Jan 20, 2022, 5:43 pm

Story #27
Date Read: January 20, 2022

Title: "The President's Advisor"
Author: Barry Yedvobnick
Length: 654 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Satire
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: September 6, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://everydayfiction.com/the-presidents-advisor-by-barry-yedvobnick/

Science fiction political satire - the title is self-explanatory. Nicely done, but it didn't push all the right buttons for me.

30amysisson
Jan 20, 2022, 6:12 pm

Story #28
Date Read: January 20, 2022

Title: "My Dreams Have Been Weird Since the Magpies Arrived"
Author: Wendy Nikel
Length: 947 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: March 24, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00783-9

Stories about dreams can be a hard sell, but I enjoyed this one. I've come across similar ideas before, but this really worked for me.

31amysisson
Jan 21, 2022, 12:56 pm

Story #29
Date Read: January 21, 2022

Title: "Counterparts"
Author: Andrew Hansen
Length: 1,247 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 21, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/andrew-hansen/co...

I absolutely loved the imagery of these apparitions, but the story broke down on me based on its lack of internal logic. The premise is that there are "visitors" that turn out to be people's "counterparts", or mirrors of themselves. They can form out of steam from the shower, or dust devils, or smoke. But the narrator's visitor/counterpart turns out to be her husband (as confirmed by the author's comments on the story), and she's obviously interacting with him physically so he's stable and long-term.

32amysisson
Jan 22, 2022, 3:30 pm

Story #30
Date Read: January 21, 2022

Title: "Reigning Cats and Human Doggies: How Humans Learned to Heel"
Author: Alicia Hilton
Length: 1,388 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Humor
Where Published: Departure Mirror Quarterly
When Published: 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

In this story, alien felines quickly domestic humans.

33amysisson
Jan 22, 2022, 7:49 pm

Story #31
Date Read: January 22, 2022

Title: "Ascend, Exalt, Love, Propagate, Rise!"
Author: Sarah Kumari
Length: 2,172 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Escape Pod
When Published: 2021-06-03
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://escapepod.org/2021/06/03/escape-pod-787-ascend-exalt-love-propagate-rise...

Religious pilgrims called "Eminents" are given a powerful drug in order to "worship" Elethra, a giant alien vine that has engulfed two thirds of the moon it lives on.

I felt this was a very interesting concept, but I had a little trouble staying engaged with the story.

34amysisson
Jan 22, 2022, 9:36 pm

Story #32
Date Read: January 22, 2022

Title: "Doomsday Derby"
Author: micah epstein (lowercase intentional)
Length: est. 1,100 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Solarpunk
Where Published: Solarpunk Magazine
When Published: 2022-01
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

NOTE: This is the first issue of a magazine. For anyone not familiar with solarpunk (I wasn't). There's a letter from editors that says "There is no static solarpunk manifesto. Solarpunk lives in and changes with its communities, poetry, science, and time. Its major tenets preside on the erasure of bigotry and inequality and the creation of harmony between nature, technology, and humanity."

This story is about a last-ditch roller derby/parkour mash-up in a former parking garage where skaters are squatting. There was some neat story-building, although the story didn't completely come together for me.

35amysisson
Jan 23, 2022, 12:50 pm

Story #33
Date Read: January 23, 2022

Title: "I Wear My Spiders in Remembrance of Myself"
Author: Kel Coleman
Length: 4,671 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Apparition Literary Magazine
When Published: 2021-08-05
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://apparitionlit.com/i-wear-my-spiders-in-remembrance-of-myself/

This is a gorgeous story about trauma, relationships, vulnerability.... I'm not even going to summarize the plot. People need to experience it, not be told about it.

36amysisson
Jan 23, 2022, 4:53 pm

Story #34
Date Read: January 23, 2022

Title: "A Telephone Call for Genevieve Snow"
Author: Carmel Bird
Length: est. 1,480 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Horror
Subgenre:
Where Published: Strange Fruit (anthology)
When Published: 1995
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

Things I loved about this story: the title and the way the school's PA system both frames and fits into the story.

Things I didn't love about this story: where the plot went.

If I'd paid more attention to the anthology I picked up off my shelves, I might have realized that this is really a horror anthology. The full title of the anthology is Strange Fruit: Tales of the Unexpected, which doesn't scream horror to me, but a cover description says: "Possession, murder, doppelgängers, and hauntings -- a smorgasbord of horrors from Australia's best writers."

Sigh....

37amysisson
Jan 24, 2022, 1:05 pm

Story #35
Date Read: January 24, 2022

Title: "God 47"
Author: Laila Amado
Length: 346 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 24, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/laila-amado/god-...

This tiny story about God 47 is oddly satisfying.

38amysisson
Editado: Jan 25, 2022, 12:52 pm

Story #36
Date Read: January 25, 2022

Title: "2021"
Author: Sean Vivier
Length: 679 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Satire
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 25, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/humor/sean-vivier/2021

LOL, another God story! This fun satire is a critique of 2021's plot structure.

39amysisson
Jan 26, 2022, 12:01 am

Story #37
Date Read: January 25, 2022

Title: "Binaries"
Author: S.B. Divya
Length: 851 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Lightspeed
When Published: June 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/binaries/

This is a lovely, poignant story from the POV of a woman who never gets over the loss of her sister. I don't want to say anything else and spoil it, even behind a spoiler tag!

40amysisson
Editado: Jan 26, 2022, 11:01 am

Story #38
Date Read: January 26, 2022

Title: "Teleportitus"
Author: Mark S. Bailen
Length: 935 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 26, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/mark-s-bailen/te...

This was nicely written but didn't quite grab me, in part because the idea of someone teleporting involuntarily and showing up naked was a big part of The Time Traveler's Wife, albeit in that case it was through both space and time rather than space only.

41amysisson
Editado: Jan 26, 2022, 4:13 pm

Story #39
Date Read: January 26, 2022

Title: "Tevye From Fiddler on the Roof, Now a Rich Man, Receives a Letter From His HOA"
Author: Stephen Ruddy
Length: 449 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Humor
Subgenre: Parody
Where Published: McSweeney's
When Published: January 19, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/tevye-from-fiddler-on-the-roof-now-a-rich-ma...

This is a fun little parody -- title is self-explanatory!

42amysisson
Jan 26, 2022, 4:22 pm

Story #40
Date Read: January 26, 2022

Title: "Bride, Knife, Flaming Horse"
Author: M.L. Krishnan
Length: 4,671 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Apparition Literary Magazine
When Published: 2021-04-26
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://apparitionlit.com/bride-knife-flaming-horse/

A 26-year-old Indian woman reluctantly agrees to let her parents fill out on online marriage-seeking profile for her, with unexpected results.

If I understood it correctly, Kala's two suitors are a deity and a demon. She doesn't want to choose between them, and is surprised when they're suprised that she thinks she needs to. I took this as a story about polyamory in the face of parental expectations. There are some lovely bits ("It slowly occurred to Kala that she could just exist in this teaspoonful of time...."), and I generally appreciate vivid descriptions, but after a while it was too much for my taste. There were also sentences that to me didn't really mean anything. The author may have known clearly in their mind what they wanted to say, but (for me) the desire to write pretty words won out over clarity, such as in the closing sentence: "Kala, so startlingly real, crystallized in their faces, in their arms, in the way they reached out and held onto her, onto the trembling edges of her possibility, unsure of anything, sure of everything."

43amysisson
Jan 27, 2022, 3:11 pm

Story #41
Date Read: January 27, 2022

Title: "Turning the Tide"
Author: Dawn Vogel
Length: 236 words
Category: Microfiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 27, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/clones/dawn-vogel/turning-the-ti...

Perhaps personal taste more than anything else, but I don't really understand the point of writing a story this short unless you really find a way to incorporate at least a couple of story elements in it. To me, this was really just a description of a situation.

44amysisson
Editado: Jan 29, 2022, 1:48 pm

Story #42
Date Read: January 27, 2022

Title: "Burning Bright"
Author: Shanna Germain
Length: est. 3,306 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Literary fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

A female assassin and scholar of poetry has to deal with strange family dynamics.

There was a lot I liked about this story, such as the way the main character adopted stray cats or made donations to rescue groups every time she killed someone, and the way she incorporated the philosophy of poetry into her philosophy of the art of being an assassin who doesn't like killing. Oh, and I adored the support group for assassins! (That reminded me a bit of John Wick's underground assassin society.) However, this was a story that I would have loved if it were a little less ambiguous in a couple of places.

45amysisson
Jan 28, 2022, 11:27 am

Story #43
Date Read: January 28, 2022

Title: "Tourists"
Author: Marlan K. Smith
Length: 1,149 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 28, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/marlan-k-smith/tourists

This story about why mysterious aliens come to Earth is really a commentary on conspiracy theories and disinformation. It was nicely done, but the technique of listing so many alternatives for what might have happened became wearing after a while. Also, minor quibble, but there is an incorrect word that changes the meaning of a sentence. At least I think so. The sentence is "Even after every metal object within a 500-mile radius was turned into a perfect sphere, and every building transformed into a glass cube that hovered three inches off the ground, when water rose skyward for a week, it became hard to deny that the event had, in fact, happened." I think "even" is supposed to be "but."

46amysisson
Jan 29, 2022, 1:48 pm

Story #44
Date Read: January 29, 2022

Title: "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place?"
Author: Michael R. Underwood
Length: est. 5,586 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Post-apocalypse
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

I adored this story about two former children's show characters, repurposed into weapons, wearily trying to get back to Paprika Place, and yes, it's what you're thinking. Beautifully done and emotionally powerful.

47amysisson
Jan 30, 2022, 3:24 pm

Story #45
Date Read: January 30, 2022

Title: "The Last Civilian"
Author: R.P. Sand
Length: 7,590 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Clarkesworld 172
When Published: January 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://clarkesworldmagazine.com/sand_01_21/

Another five-star story from Clarkesworld, and another one that makes me want to say, "This is why I read science fiction!"

This novelette appears at first to be told in second-person, and it is, but it's also told in first person. I was confused at one point for just a second, but it's done extremely well, and is a lovely structure for this particular story. It involves decanted soldiers, clones, aliens, and so much more. Highly recommended.

48amysisson
Jan 31, 2022, 1:00 pm

Story #46
Date Read: January 31, 2022

Title: "The Tangled Web"
Author: Ferrett Steinmetz
Length: est. 3,990 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

This is from the POV of a male insect or arachnid who wants to die for love, just as all the other males do. I'm so impressed by how well the author wrote from this POV, making it believable and sympathetic.

49amysisson
Jan 31, 2022, 1:09 pm

Story #47
Date Read: January 31, 2022

Title: "The Future History of Your Body"
Author: Davian Aw
Length: 475 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Time travel
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: January 31, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/davian-aw/the-future...

A human looks forward through time to the point at which alien archaeologists dig up their bones and painstakingly try to reconstruct skeletons for their museum exhibits.

50amysisson
Jan 31, 2022, 1:30 pm

January 2022 stats

Stories read: 47
Total words read: 105,669*

(*in the case of print works, I estimate by counting the number of words on 2-3 sample pages, then multiplying the average by the number of pages in the story)

Length:
  • flash stories - 22
  • short stories - 23
  • novelettes - 2

Genres:
  • Fantasy - 13
  • Horror - 1
  • Humor - 2
  • Literary fiction - 1
  • Satire (non-SF/F) - 2
  • Science fiction - 28

      Ratings:
      • - 4
      • - 4
      • - 6
      • - 7
      • - 8
      • - 10
      • - 5
      • - 1
      • - 2
      • - 0

51LeonStevens
Jan 31, 2022, 3:33 pm

I don't know if you want comments here or not, but I'm glad someone likes to review short stories! Keep it up.

52amysisson
Jan 31, 2022, 4:13 pm

>51 LeonStevens:

You're more than welcome to comment at any time!

Later today I'm going to put up a blog post (linked to in this thread) summarizing my favorites for the month.

Thanks for stopping by!

53amysisson
Jan 31, 2022, 11:04 pm

My blog post on my four favorite stories of the month is here: http://amysreviews.blogspot.com/2022/01/short-fiction-read-in-january-2022.html

54amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2022, 12:13 pm

Story #48
Date Read: February 1, 2022

Title: "Shadow Helper"
Author: Eric M. Witchey
Length: 981 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 1, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/magic-realism/eric-m-witchey/shad...

A man's shadow helps him steer a doe and her fawns to safety.

This didn't work for me, because I couldn't understand why the narrator is terrified by his shadow's judgment.

55amysisson
Editado: Fev 1, 2022, 9:00 pm

Story #49
Date Read: February 1, 2022

Title: "Cost of Living"
Author: Holly Cornetto
Length: 992 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter
When Published: February 1, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a*

(* you can sign up for their free newsletter and get two free stories per issue: https://www.flametreepress.com/reader-exclusives/)

A married couple scrimp and save to get bio-enhancements, but they're uncertain of the quality of life it affords them.

The author may have hit this prediction on the head: the enhancements come with subscription packages and automatic updates, and cost more and more and more....

56amysisson
Fev 1, 2022, 9:02 pm

Story #50
Date Read: February 1, 2022

Title: "Bloom"
Author: Steve Beresford
Length: 999 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter
When Published: February 1, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a*

In this story, a bioengineer explains to the Minister for Climate Change why humanity may be in for a different type of climate change problem than originally expected.

57amysisson
Fev 2, 2022, 12:15 pm

Story #51
Date Read: February 2, 2022

Title: "Space Unicorns and Magic Ovens"
Author: Liam Hogan
Length: 796 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/sf-fantasy/liam-hogan/space-unico...

A woman and her child have a conversation about magic and technology. It's hard to explain why I liked this as much as I did, but I found it charming.

58amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2022, 12:44 pm

Story #52
Date Read: February 2, 2022

Title: "Seeking Truth"
Author: Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
Length: est. 2,508 words
Category: Short story
Genre: General fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

I was really drawn to this story at first. A blind woman works as a human lie detector after spending years studying human physiological responses. She's tired of her ability being misrepresented as psychic in nature. But the end of the story just fizzled out for me, because the serial killer's explanation as to why he opened up to her made no sense to me. And even if it had made sense, it may well still have remained anti-climactic.

59amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2022, 2:59 pm

Story #53
Date Read: February 2, 2022

Title: "Super Duper Fly"
Author: Maurice Broaddus

Length: est. 4,218 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Satire
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

This is about the offensive magical Black character stereotype in American films (Wikipedia entry here). Specifically, it targets The Matrix and The Green Mile. I appreciate what this piece is trying to do, but unfortunately I don't think it actually works as a story unto itself because it's all over the place. The changing POVs are confusing, and the opening sequence seems random.

60amysisson
Editado: Fev 3, 2022, 12:29 pm

Story #54
Date Read: February 2, 2022

Title: "Ring in the New"
Author: Deborah Walker
Length: 867 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: January 5, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable):
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03745-3

Castaways on an alien planet keep up traditions including those for New Year's Eve. I though this was a nice, complete little story for its length.

61amysisson
Editado: Fev 2, 2022, 6:26 pm

Story #55
Date Read (audio): February 2, 2022

Title: "Open House on Haunted Hill"
Author: John Wiswell
Length: 3,014 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Ghost stories
Where Published: LeVar Burton Reads
When Published: January 31, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): Diabolical Plots, June 15, 2020
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.stitcher.com/show/levar-burton-reads/episode/open-house-on-haunted-h...
Link to text version (original publication): https://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-64a-open-house-on-haunted-hill-by-joh...

This is a sweet story about a haunted house that's haunted by its own loneliness, so it tries to do something about it. This won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story.

This was my first time listening to the LeVar Burton Reads podcast. It was fun, although it does stop in the middle of the story for a sponsorship announcement for mental health services. I also wish LB had said a little less about the story before he started reading it. But I enjoyed his narration and thought it was nice that they added a few little sound effects here and there.

62amysisson
Editado: Fev 3, 2022, 12:25 pm

Story #56
Date Read: February 3, 2022

Title: "She Died As She Lived"
Author: Riley Tao
Length: 307 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Time travel
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 3, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/riley-tao/she-died-a...

A very short, very simple time travel story. Not original, but I like the way it was told.

63amysisson
Editado: Fev 3, 2022, 12:49 pm

Story #57
Date Read: February 3, 2022

Title: "The Lucky Ones"
Author: Aimee Ogden
Length: 958 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social SF
Where Published: Nature
When Published: January 12, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03747-1

I loved this idea, that people in an ultra-gig economy eek out a living by standing in queues for people -- as in, multi-day lines to get into a clinic for medical attention. I had a few minor issues with the execution of the idea, but worth reading.

64amysisson
Fev 3, 2022, 7:00 pm

Story #58
Date Read: February 3, 2022

Title: "Red Light"
Author: Sara M. Harvey

Length: est. 3,534 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Urban fantasy
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

A prostitute moves around, trying not to draw attention to herself because she preys on her customers. I'm 99% sure she's meant to be a succubus, and that the twist (remember this is in the Upside Down anthology) is that she's feeding on negative emotions rather than their flesh. I felt the beginning was drawn out too long, and the twist wasn't really enough to excite me.

65amysisson
Fev 4, 2022, 12:07 pm

Story #59
Date Read: February 4, 2022

Title: "Rock Hard Place"
Author: Don Redwood
Length: 998 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 4, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/virtual-reality/don-redwood/rock...

This is about asylum seekers, PTSD, and the unreliability of memory. There's a little of a Nineteen Eighty-Four vibe to it. I think the author's choice of name (Harmony) was meaningful, and I think the liberal use of semi-colons may be meant to express the fragmented nature of her memories. But I found the semi-colons seriously distracting, and there are a few places where I stumbled over the word choices (as in, I had to stop and puzzle out the meaning), so this didn't really work for me.

66amysisson
Editado: Fev 4, 2022, 12:58 pm

Story #60
Date Read: February 4, 2022

Title: "Synaesthetics "
Author: Helena O'Connor
Length: 946 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: AI
Where Published: Nature
When Published: January 19, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03748-0

A robot with synesthesia considers itself an artist and is dismayed to find it has been repurposed into a solder. Familiar ideas but skillfully brought together.

67amysisson
Editado: Fev 4, 2022, 7:23 pm

Story #61
Date Read: February 4, 2022

Title: "Santa CIS Episode One: No Saint"
Author: Alethea Kontis

Length: est. 7,500
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Horror
Where Published: Upside Down (anthology)
When Published: 2016
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

An elf who is now a special agent appeals to the now-retired Santa for assistance in locating twelve children who've written letters asking Santa to save them from a bad man who has kidnapped them.

This was a very interesting premise, and well done, but something in it was missing for me. I did like the ending, though.

68amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2022, 12:49 am

Story #62
Date Read: February 4, 2022

Title: "Wired Dreaming"
Author: Paul Collins

Length: est. 3,509
Category: Short story
Genre: Science Fiction
Subgenre: Mystery
Where Published: Dreaming Down Under (anthology)
When Published: 2001
Original Publication (if applicable): 1998 (original Australian edition)
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

A detective tries to determine whether the strange deaths of several sex offenders are connected. I thought this was an original take on a disturbing subject.

69amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2022, 12:49 am

Story #63
Date Read: February 4, 2022

Title: "Lions and Tigers and Girlfriends, Oh My!"
Author: Tina Connolly

Length: 5,015 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science Fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Escape Pod
When Published: February 3, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): October 2020 (Escape Pod: The Science Fiction Anthology)
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://escapepod.org/2022/02/03/escape-pod-822-lions-and-tigers-and-girlfriends...

A teen girl frustrated at being stuck for years on a spaceship, going to a school with no drama department, makes a new friend and decides to take matters into her own hands by putting on the play The Wizard of Oz.

Even though this is a podcast /audio publication, they also post the text version, so I read this instead of listening. This story was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the way it was written. My only quibble is that I really wanted some idea as to how the adults on the ship reacted to the play, even if that reaction was off-screen.

70amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2022, 12:58 pm

Story #64
Date Read: February 5, 2022

Title: "The Singularity Graveyard"
Author: Preston Grassmann
Length: 885 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: January 26, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00165-9

I very much like the idea of this take on immortality, but for me the execution got a little bit in the way of the idea.

71amysisson
Editado: Fev 5, 2022, 1:12 pm

Story #65
Date Read: February 5, 2022

Title: "One Hundred and Fifty-Seven"
Author: Diana Juncher
Length: 930 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: February 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00229-w

This is a poignant story about the communication between an astronaut and mission control after some sort of disaster has happened. Really well told, in my opinion.

72amysisson
Editado: Fev 6, 2022, 2:16 pm

Story #66
Date Read: February 6, 2022

Title: "There Are No Hot Topics on Whukai"
Author: Andrea Kriz
Length: 5,522 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Lightspeed
When Published: May 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/there-are-no-hot-topics-on-whukai/

Colonists on the planet Whukai try to scrape out a living mining virtual gold for rich Terrans, but when that operation is shut down, Esko accepts a job acting as a friend to a Terran author of fan fic, who is perfectly willing to change the "truth" at any time.

There was a lot to unpack in this story and I definitely found it interesting, but it didn't quite gel for me. I was a little confused at times.

73amysisson
Editado: Fev 9, 2022, 11:22 am

Story #67
Date Read: February 7, 2022

Title: "What To Expect When Your Daughter Returns from Neverland"
Author: Luke Sekiguchi
Length: 529 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 7, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/luke-sekiguchi/what-to-expec...

Yes, it's Peter Pan, and yes, there are so many retellings. But this list-format story made it seem fresh to me again.

74amysisson
Fev 9, 2022, 11:22 am

Story #68
Date Read: February 8, 2022

Title: "Multiverse Apocalypse: A Villanelle"
Author: Timothy Mudie
Length: 968 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 8, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/disaster-apocalypse/timothy-mudi...

I had to look up what a "villanelle" was, and learned that it's a "nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain."

Yeah, no. That doesn't make any sense to me.

However, I can see that this is a short story set up in a particular format. Nicholas stands on a hill near his childhood home, and experiences the end of the world several different times, in several different ways. So, a multiverse. I felt it was effective, but it went on one iteration too long for my taste.

75amysisson
Fev 9, 2022, 5:42 pm

Story #69
Date Read: February 9, 2022

Title: "Replicas"
Author: Eric S. Fomley
Length: 584 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Post-apocalypse
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 9, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/clones/eric-s-fomley/replicas

A robot creates genetic clones of an orphaned girl's parents for her. The writing is fine, but not enough happened in the story to truly engage me.

76amysisson
Editado: Fev 11, 2022, 1:19 am

Story #70
Date Read: February 9, 2022

Title: "Slow News Day"
Author: Kim Newman
Length: est. 2,642 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Alternate history
Where Published: The Best of Interzone (anthology)
When Published: 1997
Original Publication (if applicable): Interzone 90, December 1994
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

In this alternate history story, we see an England after which the Nazis won World War II.

I think this was supposed to be funny, but I couldn't make much sense of it.

77amysisson
Editado: Fev 11, 2022, 1:19 am

Story #71
Date Read: February 9, 2022

Title: "The Net of Babel"
Author: David Langford
Length: est. 1,359 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: The Best of Interzone (anthology)
When Published: 1997
Original Publication (if applicable): InterZone 92, February 1995
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

I'm not a stickler who thinks every story must be a Story with a capital "S", but I have no idea what was going on with this.

78amysisson
Fev 11, 2022, 1:21 am

Story #72
Date Read: February 10, 2022

Title: "Super. Hero."
Author: Karen Brenchley
Length: 349 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Superheroes
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 10, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/karen-brenchley/super-...

A female superhero dreads her superhero husband coming home.

I know these are stories that need to be told, but for my taste this was a touch heavy-handed.

79amysisson
Fev 11, 2022, 9:49 pm

Story #73
Date Read: February 11, 2022

Title: "Questions Asked in the Belly of the World"
Author: A.T. Greenblatt
Length: 9,310 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: September 29, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/09/29/questions-asked-in-the-belly-of-the-world-a-t-gre...

Another one of those stories that makes me wonder how the author came up with something so strange and unfamiliar yet made it seem as though it comes organically out of reality.

I hardly even know how to describe this, so here is the blurb for the story from Tor.com's page:

For the residents of this mycological ecosystem, creating art feeds the World around you and requires working in harmony with your inner voice. When one artist’s voice begins screaming, he’s forced to travel farther than he ever has before to reconcile with the noise in his head and find his true place in society before it’s too late.

80amysisson
Editado: Fev 12, 2022, 11:18 pm

Story #74
Date Read: February 12, 2022

Title: "The Ones Who Can't Let It Go"
Author: John Wiswell
Length: 856 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: February 9, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00345-7

I hate to say this, but the last line of the story kind of ruined it for me.

81amysisson
Fev 15, 2022, 3:55 pm

Story #75
Date Read: February 13, 2022

Title: "The Lay of Lilyfinger"
Author: G.V. Anderson
Length: 10,079 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: May 5, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/05/05/the-lay-of-lilyfinger-g-v-anderson/

Oh wow, I've now rated the first two stories I've read in Tor's free e-book of their "Some of the Best of 2021" anthology with five-stars. This novelette is has exquisite world-building in my opinion, and although I hope to someday read more set in this world, this particular tale stopped in just the right place.

82amysisson
Fev 15, 2022, 5:32 pm

Story #76
Date Read: February 15, 2022

Title: "The Seven"
Author: James Dorr
Length: 1,023 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Fairy tales
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 11, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/james-dorr/the-seven

I was pretty darn amused by this Snow White retelling from the POV of the dwarves. I especially liked their new nicknames; for instance, Doc is now "Dropout" because he never actually finished that dissertation....

83amysisson
Fev 15, 2022, 5:39 pm

Story #77
Date Read: February 15, 2022

Title: "Don't Think About Dinosaurs"
Author: Rock Forsberg
Length: 367 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 14, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/rock-forsberg/do...

A man facing humanity's extinction muses about the species that went before.

84amysisson
Fev 15, 2022, 5:48 pm

Story #78
Date Read: February 15, 2022

Title: "The Cities Rise Up on Legs of Lead"
Author: Daniel Ausema
Length: 1,083 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 15, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/future-societies/daniel-ausema/t...

A fun premise to start with, but I found myself skimming because the writing style was a little heavy for my taste, such as "The steeple is followed by other buildings, by cobbled streets cobbling together a vast and terrible conglomerate monster."

85amysisson
Fev 18, 2022, 8:23 pm

Story #79
Date Read: February 18, 2022

Title: "Smile More"
Author: Gwen Whiting
Length: 246 words
Category: Microfiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 16, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/modern-fantasy/gwen-whiting/smile-more

A woman who has the power to make anyone do anything by looking in their eyes is afraid to use it on anyone but herself, and uses it only to mold herself to other people's expectations, including to command herself to love the person she is about to marry. While I'm glad she didn't use the power to enslave other people, I don't see why she would deliberately marry someone she didn't love and then force herself to love him.

86amysisson
Fev 18, 2022, 8:35 pm

Story #80
Date Read: February 18, 2022

Title: "The Messenger"
Author: Mari Ness
Length: 355 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Fairy tales
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 17, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/mari-ness/the-messenger

This is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin from the POV of a messenger who eavesdropped to learn the name and carried that message back to the Queen. He apparently feels great guilt about it.

87amysisson
Editado: Fev 18, 2022, 8:40 pm

Story #81
Date Read: February 18, 2022

Title: "Infinite Ripples In A Single Pool"
Author: Priya Chand
Length: 1,414 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 18, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/medieval/priya-chand/infinite-ripples-in...

This is about parallel universes, or a multiverse, but it's really more fantasy than science fiction because it's about a king and a knight (I think) and a dragon, and the myriad of ways in which their lives are connected. I think. I'm afraid I found it too long (even at this short length) and fairly incoherent, although YMMV.

88amysisson
Editado: Fev 19, 2022, 12:46 pm

Story #82
Date Read: February 19, 2022

Title: "Masquerade Season"
Author: 'Pemi Aguda
Length: 3,923 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Magic realism
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: March 24, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/03/24/masquerade-season-pemi-aguda/

One day on his way home, a boy named Pauly encounters three masquerades, or tall figures made of fabric, beads, feathers, and masks. They tell Pauly they belong to him; he takes them home and feeds them palm oil on their request. Soon, however, Pauly's mother finds a way to exploit the masquerades for her own gain.

I liked this for the most part. It did remind me heavily of D.H. Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner".

89amysisson
Editado: Fev 20, 2022, 5:55 pm

Story #83
Date Read: February 20, 2022

Title: "Cash is King"
Author: D.J. Rozell
Length: 851 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social
Where Published: Nature
When Published: February 16, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00418-7

Written as a financial/economic column, this story talks about a lone hacker using quantum computing to crash cryptocurrency, possibly permanently. It's a thoughtful discussion, in a way, but wasn't overly interesting or enjoyable to read.

90amysisson
Fev 20, 2022, 5:57 pm

Story #84
Date Read: February 20, 2022

Title: "Red Mother"
Author: Elizabeth Bear
Length: 12,020 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: June 23, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/06/23/the-red-mother-elizabeth-bear/

This fantasy novelette didn't work for me. I really enjoyed the main character's relationship with two different horses, but making riddle-based bargains with dragons is a very hard sell for me.

91amysisson
Editado: Fev 21, 2022, 8:00 pm

Story #85
Date Read: February 21, 2022

Title: "Last Teen Standing"
Author: Samara Lo
Length: 485 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Post-apocalypse
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 21, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/disaster-apocalypse/samara-lo/la...

The premise of this short piece didn't work for me -- well, assuming I'm right about what I think we're supposed to infer. After a solar event knocks out electricity and that causes nuclear plants to 'splode because the cooling towers need electricity, a teacher takes three teenagers outside in hazmat suits so they can ... try to beat each other to death?" I don't see how that helps humanity try to survive, and there are no spectators so it's not meant as entertainment.

92amysisson
Fev 22, 2022, 11:18 pm

Story #86
Date Read: February 22, 2022

Title: "When It Pours"
Author: Carola Scheina
Length: 984 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Urban fantasy
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 22, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/modern-fantasy/carol-scheina/when-it-pou...

I was quite charmed by this story about a women with believes she shouldn't impose her bad luck on anyone else by being in a relationship with them.

93amysisson
Editado: Fev 22, 2022, 11:32 pm

Story #87
Date Read: February 22, 2022

Title: "The Tinder Box"
Author: Kate Elliott
Length: 5,949 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre:
Where Published: Tor.com
When Published: December 1, 2021
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.tor.com/2021/12/01/the-tinder-box-kate-elliott/

In this story, a witch orchestrates the overthrow of a kingdom. Unfortunately, I found this a little confusing and I couldn't relate to the main character.

94amysisson
Editado: Fev 25, 2022, 3:53 pm

Story #88
Date Read: February 23, 2022

Title: "The Cube"
Author: Jonathan Worlde
Length: 626 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Time travel
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 23, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/time-travel/jonathan-worlde/the-...

Another cute one. Time travel, not overly original, but fun.

95amysisson
Fev 25, 2022, 3:53 pm

Story #89
Date Read: February 23, 2022

Title: "The Fairest World"
Author: Chris Bailey
Length: 232 words
Category: Microfiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 24, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/chris-bailey/fai...

I supposed one could make the argument that there's really nothing too stupid for humanity not to attempt it, but in this case, the amount of effort that needs to be expended to do the stupid thing makes it not believable that they would bother.

(That was kind of a roundabout sentence. I'm tired and I'm glad it's Friday.)

96amysisson
Fev 25, 2022, 4:25 pm

Story #90
Date Read: February 25, 2022

Title: "Mongoose"
Author: Jerry Spinelli
Length: est. 10,460 words
Category: Novelette
Genre: Children's
Subgenre: Realistic
Where Published: The Library Card (collection)
When Published: 1997
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

Twelve-year-old best friends grow apart when one discovers books and intellectual curiosity and the other does not.

I was engaged with watching the one who calls himself Mongoose discover books and knowledge and such, but the way his new interests manifested themselves did not seem at all realistic to me.

97amysisson
Fev 26, 2022, 5:21 pm

Story #91
Date Read: February 26, 2022

Title: "The Last Passenger"
Author: Melissa Mead
Length: 1,498 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Mythology
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 25, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/religious/melissa-mead/the-last-passenge...

This is told from the POV of Charon's skiff, with which Charon ferries the souls of the dead across Acheron. I liked the POV, but overall the story didn't quite work for me.

98amysisson
Mar 1, 2022, 7:13 pm

Story #92
Date Read: March 1, 2022

Title: "The Skin Trader"
Author: Matt Tighe
Length: 1,054 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: February 28, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/matt-tighe/the-skin-trad...

This story had promise but for me it got muddled at the end.

This in particular is a minor nitpick, but pronouns are important. One paragraph ends with a "they" referring to created artificial skins, and the next paragraph begins with "they swoop in from all around" -- not only does this second "they" not refer to the skins, we are technically never told what it does refer to, which is apparently a group of agents.

99amysisson
Mar 1, 2022, 7:28 pm

Story #93
Date Read: March 1, 2022

Title: "Knock Knock"
Author: Jack McDevitt
Length: 981 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: February 23, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00498-5

To me this didn't feel like a story (YMMV). A cosmologist is very happy when NASA launches a "hypertelescope" because he wants to know whether life exists elsewhere. A few years later they have evidence that it does, and it's at a planet 30 light years away. So now the scientist is sad knowing that Earth's very rudimentary greeting (so it's understandable) will take 30 years there, with 30 or more years to get a reply (because they may not respond instantly, if they're even capable of doing so). I guess what's weird to me is why he was happy and then is not, given that he knew all along about the length of time it takes messages to travel given distances. I think we're meant to infer that he had hoped there would be life near enough that an actual response within his lifetime was possible, and now he knows it isn't. But somehow I didn't feel this was conveyed as well as it might have been.

100amysisson
Mar 2, 2022, 3:08 pm

Story #94
Date Read: March 2, 2022

Title: "Dogman Relates the Parable of Context"
Author: Peter S. Drang
Length: 974 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Nature
When Published: March 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00568-8

I had trouble engaging with this story, believe it or not, due in part to lack of context. But the writing style was also a bit much for me.

101rocketjk
Mar 3, 2022, 4:05 pm

FYI: I enjoy keeping up with your reading, here. Thanks for the posts!

102amysisson
Mar 4, 2022, 11:01 pm

>101 rocketjk:

That's nice of you to say! Thank you. I'll get my end-of-the-month post up this weekend.

103amysisson
Mar 6, 2022, 12:07 pm

Story #95
Date Read: March 6, 2022

Title: "The Lobby of The Hotel McCoy"
Author: R. Leigh Hennig
Length: 992 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Mystery
Subgenre:
Where Published: Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter
When Published: March 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a* (* you can sign up for their free newsletter and get two free stories per issue: https://www.flametreepress.com/reader-exclusives/)

This is beautifully written, but for me it feels wasted because it's not satisfying at flash length. Maybe the author could have squeezed more resolution into it, but I feel as though this would have had great potential as a longer piece.

An apropos alternative title for this could be "The Curse of the Hyperobservant".

104amysisson
Mar 6, 2022, 12:17 pm

Story #96
Date Read: March 6, 2022

Title: "Moon Dust"
Author: Shannon Fay
Length: 1,000 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Mystery
Where Published: Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter
When Published: March 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a* (* you can sign up for their free newsletter and get two free stories per issue: https://www.flametreepress.com/reader-exclusives/)

For the short length and number of characters, I had a surprising amount of trouble keeping them straight. More importantly, I didn't believe that whatever profit the sheriff made from this scheme would tempt him to murder lots of babies, especially considering there would be no way to spent the money while at the lunar colony without drawing a lot of attention.

105amysisson
Editado: Mar 8, 2022, 11:15 pm

Story #97
Date Listened (audio): March 6, 2022

Title: "The Sixth Borough"
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Length: 2,056 words (13:09 minutes)
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Urban fantasy
Where Published: Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology)
When Published: October 2009
Original Publication (if applicable): The New York Times, September 17, 2004
Rating:
Link to text version (original publication): https://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/17/opinion/the-sixth-borough.html

This had a fun concept -- New York City originally had a sixth borough that floated away -- but it didn't entirely work for me. It was clever but almost in a smug way -- although I admit that that interpretation is entirely on me!

106amysisson
Editado: Mar 8, 2022, 11:16 pm

Story #98
Date Listened (audio): March 6, 2022

Title: "Drunken Mimi"
Author: Aimee Bender
Length: est. 1,330 words (10:54 minutes)
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Urban fantasy
Where Published: Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology)
When Published: October 2009
Original Publication (if applicable): The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (collection), 1998
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a* (there is a PDF available online but it doesn't look authorized to me so I'm not linking to it)

In this story, an imp (a small demon, according to Merriam-Webster online) uses stilts to try and blend in at a high school, where it just so happens a mermaid also attends disguised as a human. They have an interaction during which he strokes her hair, which is "alive". I listened to this as read before a live audience, and the audience clearly didn't recognize the end of the story based on the long hesitatation before they began applauding. And they weren't wrong: the ending seemed completely random. In fact, the entire story did. The imp told stupid jokes, and the voice the narrator used for those jokes actually made me cringe. But my rating is less about the narration -- truly, this story just kind of annoyed me. I like literary writing, but not when it seems pointless to me.

107amysisson
Editado: Mar 8, 2022, 11:19 pm

Story #99
Date Listened (audio): March 8, 2022

Title: "The Little Green Monster"
Author: Haruki Murakami
Length: est. 1,880 words (13:31 minutes)
Category: Short story
Genre: Fantasy
Subgenre: Dark fantasy
Where Published: Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology)
When Published: October 2009
Original Publication (if applicable): 1991
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a* (there is a PDF available online but it doesn't look authorized to me so I'm not linking to it)

This wasn't pleasant to read per se, because the woman seems hideously cruel, but if you read it as her own self-loathing, it does have something interesting to say.

108amysisson
Editado: Mar 10, 2022, 11:31 am

Story #100
Date Listened (audio): March 9, 2022

Title: "Swept Away"
Author: T.C. Boyle
Length: 4,721 words (_____ minutes)
Category: Short story
Genre: Literary fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology)
When Published: October 2009
Original Publication (if applicable): The New Yorker, January 13, 2002
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/01/21/swept-away-2

This was a delightful, funny, sad story of an odd romance on the Isle of Unst. It was made even more enjoyable by the gorgeous narration by René Auberjonois.

109amysisson
Mar 10, 2022, 11:33 am

Story #101
Date Listened (audio): March 9, 2022

Title: "The Occasional Garden"
Author: Saki
Length: 1,484 words (_____ minutes)
Category: Short story
Genre: Satire
Subgenre:
Where Published: Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic (audio anthology)
When Published: October 2009
Original Publication (if applicable): 1919
Rating:
Link (if applicable): http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/OccaGard.shtml

This is one of those stories that's probably amusing in print, but so well suited for audio. Two women discuss what to do when there's a gardening emergency!

110amysisson
Mar 11, 2022, 8:59 pm

February 2022 stats

Stories read:
Total words read: 114,706*

(*in the case of print works, I estimate by counting the number of words on 2-3 sample pages, then multiplying the average by the number of pages in the story)

Length:
  • flash stories - 25
  • short stories - 17
  • novelettes - 4

Genres:
  • Children's - 1
  • Fantasy - 16
  • General fiction - 1
  • Science fiction - 28

      Ratings:
      • - 2
      • - 5
      • - 6
      • - 4
      • - 7
      • - 7
      • - 7
      • - 6
      • - 2
      • - 0

111amysisson
Editado: Mar 17, 2022, 7:30 pm

Story #102
Date Read: March 15, 2022

Title: "Your Hero Can't Save You Now"
Author: Katie Conrad
Length: 953 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: March 1, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/science-fiction/katie-conrad/you...

In this story, humans realize that what they thought was a fire or evacuation drill is actually aliens rounding them up, presumably for enslavement or slaughter. While it's happening, a man encounters the professional football player who inspired him to get his act together.

I had a lot of trouble reconciling the two parts of this story.

112amysisson
Editado: Mar 17, 2022, 7:30 pm

Story #103
Date Read: March 15, 2022

Title: "Kernels of Resistance"
Author: Mary Alexandra Agner
Length: 915 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social science fiction
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: March 2, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/mary-alexandra-agner/ker...

A woman is part of an underground resistance against an evil corporation making farm crops addictive.

For me, this wasn't overly original, and it was also told in a fairly convoluted style. I felt the second person tense didn't serve the story well.

113amysisson
Editado: Mar 17, 2022, 7:30 pm

Story #104
Date Read: March 17, 2022

Title: "Fermi's Answer"
Author: Daniel Scott White and E.E. King
Length: 309 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: March 3, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/aliens/daniel-scott-white-e-e-ki...

Turns out there were vastly intelligent species out there all along but our radio waves killed them.

114amysisson
Editado: Mar 17, 2022, 7:39 pm

Story #105
Date Read: March 17, 2022

Title: "Our Grasp, Unbroken"
Author: Dawn Bonanno
Length: 1,036 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre:
Where Published: Daily Science Fiction
When Published: March 4, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/other-worlds-sf/dawn-bonanno/our...

A young human who is stranded on an alien moon encounter encounters an unfamiliar intelligent alien.

I had trouble with the fact that multiple ships were crash-landing on this same moon because it was hidden behind a planet and so they didn't know there was a gravity well there. We're already close to being able to detect exo-moons from Earth, and these people are flying beyond our solar system with something close to a universal translator. Maybe the author could have gone with an unusual magnetic field.

I also through the story was trying a little too hard with its last line.

115amysisson
Mar 17, 2022, 7:47 pm

Story #106
Date Read: March 2, 2022

Title: "The Resilience of Humanity"
Author: Gretchen Tessmer
Length: 989 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social science fiction
Where Published: Nature
When Published: March 16, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00731-1

Apparently I'm getting wicked hard to please with flash fiction! This piece, about immortality achieved at the expense of others, didn't work for me, in part because it was actually a little confusing. But it didn't feel original to me anyway. YMMV.

116rocketjk
Mar 17, 2022, 9:56 pm

>108 amysisson: "This was a delightful, funny, sad story of an odd romance on the Isle of Unst. It was made even more enjoyable by the gorgeous narration by René Auberjonois."

I hope you don't mind a slight digression from your interesting short story reading. René and his wife, Judith, owned a home (well, Judith still owns it) here in the relatively remote section of Mendocino County, CA, where my wife and I live. Sadly, René passed away last year. I never really got to know him well, but he was pretty good friends with a couple of friends of mine, and my wife and I got to meet and spend a little time with René and Judith a few times at social gatherings. René was a very friendly and thoughtful man, his wife is the same, both brilliant and extremely well read, as you might imagine. So, anyway, it surprises me not at all that he would be a careful and feeling narrator of fiction.

117amysisson
Mar 18, 2022, 10:21 am

>115 amysisson:

Thank you for sharing that! I was sad to hear of his passing as well. He and his wife sound like delightful people.

118rocketjk
Mar 18, 2022, 5:49 pm

>117 amysisson: Yes, delightful and interesting.

119amysisson
Editado: Mar 20, 2022, 12:25 am

Story #107
Date Read: March 18, 2022

Title: "Blood Doesn't Come Out"
Author: Michael Crichton
Length: est. 3,829 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Literary
Subgenre:
Where Published: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (anthology)
When Published: 2002
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

A private detective having a bad day visits his mother in a nursing home. Drunk or at least buzzed, visiting a mother who has always verbally and emotionally abused him, and carrying his gun into the nursing home. What could possibly go wrong?

The gun thing really bothered me. The character says (in his first person narration) that "the gun was on the passenger seat and I couldn't leave it there so I stuck it in my pocket, pulled on my jacket, and went inside." Of course, this is the same gun that had been in the glove compartment all along and had only just fallen out onto the seat. But apparently he couldn't just put it back in the glove compartment.

I feel like the authorial intent was to show that the character was making decisions based on his subconscious desire to kill his mother (because of course that's what happens), but when it's stated plainly in black and white that (paraphrasing) "oh! the gun just fell out of the glove box onto the seat" and a few lines later that "oh! I can't leave the gun on the seat so I'll stick it in my pocket," it comes across as, well, stupid. So I'm afraid I saw little point to this story.


I know that the Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, given it's from McSweeney's, and I don't need non-stop action for a story to be thrilling, but if you're going to call them thrilling stories, they should excite or engage the reader a lot more than this (IMHO).

One last note: categorizing this as "literary" fiction due to the source, and the fact that it isn't really a detective story or mystery.

120amysisson
Editado: Mar 20, 2022, 12:39 am

Story #108
Date Read: March 19, 2022

Title: "Private Grave 9"
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Length: est. 5,743 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Literary
Subgenre:
Where Published: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (anthology)
When Published: 2002
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

A photographer at an archaeological dig (not long after World War I, I think) notices that he's suddenly having murderous thoughts, and that the onset coincides with two occurrences: the arrival of a female mystery novelist doing research, and his own photographing of an ancient unearthed princess. It's also hinted that some of the archaeologists are beginning to be a little cruel to one another all of a sudden.

And that's it. Nothing happens.


Like the story immediately preceding this one, this feels like literary fiction that is paying homage to a certain genre, but I couldn't find it satisfying, and I kept getting various characters mixed up in spite of the fact that they're well described. I just couldn't engage with the characters or the story.

121amysisson
Editado: Mar 23, 2022, 3:56 pm

Story #109
Date Read: March 21, 2022

Title: "Brooks Too Broad for Leaping"
Author: Charles Sheffield
Length: est. 4,226 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Military
Where Published: Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (anthology)
When Published: 1998
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

I loved this story -- it's not your traditional take on how hard it is to fit into general society after being discharged from the military. I definitely got a Forever War vibe, but this was still quite original.

122amysisson
Editado: Mar 23, 2022, 4:02 pm

Story #110
Date Read: March 23, 2022

Title: "Distracted "
Author: Mike Morgan
Length: 945 words
Category: Flash fiction
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social science fiction
Where Published: Nature
When Published: March 9, 2022
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00655-w

For me, this was a little too obvious, or on the nose. I think we all get that we've completely fragmented our attention spans with technology and social media.

123amysisson
Editado: Mar 23, 2022, 4:16 pm

Story #111
Date Read: March 23, 2022

Title: "State of Nature"
Author: Nancy Kress
Length: est. 2,329 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Science fiction
Subgenre: Social
Where Published: Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (anthology)
When Published: 1998
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

In this story, a woman visits her former partner, who has moved to a massively inaccessible gated community (a tower, actually) to escape the outside world's ubiquitous violence, including hate crimes.

Kress is always a competent writer, and often a terrific writer, but this felt a bit heavy-handed to me.

124amysisson
Editado: Mar 25, 2022, 1:08 pm

Story #112
Date Read: March 24, 2022

Title: "The Rendez-Vous"
Author: Nancy Johnston
Length: est. 2,922 words
Category: Short story
Genre: Satire
Subgenre:
Where Published: Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (anthology)
When Published: 1998
Original Publication (if applicable): n/a
Rating:
Link (if applicable): n/a

If I'm understanding this story correctly, it's basically poking fun at a man who is so determined to deny that his wife has a female lover, that he tries to convince everyone (including her) that she's being abducted by aliens on a regular basis. It's just coincidental that he's a UFO enthusiast.

Two things bother me: first, that I don't know if the wife is sleep walking or going out for her rendezvous every night on purpose. If the latter, is she deliberately lying in the hypnosis sessions? Second, while we can laugh at the husband's obtuseness or extreme denial, this is kind of making fun of the poor schlub whose wife deceived him (deliberately or not) when they got married. It's not like that's a fun position to be in.