Re: Trunk and Disorderly

First off, I want to thank Charles Stross for writing “Trunk and Disorderly” and Subterranean Press for making it available as a free Audiobook. Listening to it on the drive from Boston to New York makes Connecticut disappear. The hilarity begins when Ralph’s “clanky” girlfriend Laura walks out and his sister Fiona calls up. Fiona […]

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Re: Finisterra

In the world of Sky, island-sized living zaratanes float through the upper layers of the atmosphere. A zaratán is so big, whole towns live on their backs and go unnoticed. So naturally, people fly to get about, in balloons or anemopters or starships lurking in orbit. It seems like just the place for an ambitious […]

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Re: Wikiworld

You know how you’re not supposed to use wikipedia as a reference? By the same token, you can’t take “Wikiworld,” by Paul Di Fillippo all that seriously. Full of wordplay and in-jokes (the biggest being the term jimmywhale), it’s set in a world were wikis become social groups that collect for various purposes, from building […]

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Re: Save Me Plz

What kind of world do you want? “Save Me Plz,” by David Barr Kirtley offers a bigass One Impossible Thing: a game artifact that can change the real world. With such a premise, naturally the story blurs the distinctions between levels of reality. It begins with Meg throwing her sword into the trunk of her […]

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Re: Recovering Apollo 8

I was just a kid in the 60s, but I remember the uncertainty of the Apollo program, from the terrible reality of Apollo 1, to wacky speculations that Apollo 11 would sink into the lunar dust. The movie “Apollo 13” captured wonderfully the constant fear that something might go wrong. When you look at what […]

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Re: Territory

It’s a good thing Tombstone, Arizona is a small town, because in Territory, by Emma Bull, you seem to meet all of them. The four Earp brothers, their wives, a daughter, Doc Holliday and his common-law wife, Kate Elder. Ike and Billy Clanton, John Ringo and his various rustler friends. In the first 200 pages, […]

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Re: Memorare

In “Memorare,” by Gene Wolfe, March Wildspring is a producer, filming a documentary about memorials orbiting Jupiter near the places where people died trying to colonize the solar system. Like the pyramids, they are booby-trapped. The narrator of his films, his beloved Kit, brings along an assistant, a woman who hides until she’s forced to […]

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Re: Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse

In “Unique Chicken Goes In Reverse,” by Andy Duncan, Father Leggett, a priest in Savannah of the early 30s, receives a peculiar phone message taken by the church secretary. OCONNORS MARY PRIEST? CHICKEN! He meets Mary O’Connors, a little girl with a frizzled chicken she calls Jesus Christ. It’s the best name, you know. As […]

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Re: Awakening

In “Awakening,” by Judith Berman, Aleya awakes among the dead, escapes, and explores a world that has changed since she last lived. She too has changed, but she refuses to believe that she is a revenant cloaking her unholy passions with memories of life. Buffeted by the magics of a witchwoman, shaman, and the sorcerer […]

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Re: Stars Seen Through Stone

Vernon is a small-time regional music producer who landed in Black William, Pennsylvania with his (now) ex-wife, Andrea, when their car broke down. Perhaps because he’s recounting events that happened ten years before the main action of the story, the opening passage of “Stars Seen Through Stone,” by Lucius Shephard, sounds stiff in its formality […]

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