Re: Dark Rooms

In “Dark Rooms“, by Lisa Goldstein, the realistic but fictional Nathan Stevens encounters the fantastic but real George Méliès. Stevens meets Méliès in a dark room watching turn of the 20th century films, when cinema was in its infancy. Stevens has come to Paris to be an artist, and joins Méliès in the new art […]


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Re: 26 Monkeys

Like the story says: Aimee’s big trick is that she makes twenty-six monkeys vanish onstage. Except it’s not really Aimee’s trick, it’s the monkeys’. Then Kij Jonhson’s “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” goes on to reveal that the monkeys (and one chimpanzee, who is not a monkey) have plenty of other tricks up their, um, […]

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Re: Don’t Stop

So far the only short story (and therefore my favorite) I’ve read from the Nebula nominees is “Don’t Stop”, by James Patrick Kelly. Well, actually I’ve listened to the excellent reading and discussion of the story available at Free Reads. (The text is now available at Asimov’s.)

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Re: The Edge of Nowhere

What is it with me and talking dogs? In The Edge of Nowhere, by James Patrick Kelly, three sinister talking dogs show up, looking for a book that doesn’t exist. But then it’s doubtful that anything or anyone in Nowhere exists.

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Re: Luminous

I was wrong about “Luminous,” by Greg Egan. I finally got around to reading it, and I have to say I’m disappointed. Since I read “Dark Integers” first, I was hoping for a little more about what happened in Shanghai, who Industrial Algebra was, and some justification for a defect in math allowing contact with […]

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Re: Dancing On Air

Like “Bullet In The Brain,” “Dancing On Air,” by Nancy Kress is another old favorite of mine. This Nebula and Hugo nominee from 1993 is a compelling glimpse into the competitive backstage of ballet: the injuries, the competition, the starvation, all showing the lengths (mostly) women will go to become ballerinas. They even use illegal […]

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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: Dark Integers

I was really looking forward to “Dark Integers” by Greg Egan. After all, one character says: Dark matter, dark energy . . . dark integers. They’re all around us, but we don’t usually see them, because they don’t quite play by the rules. How cool is that? I really like the parts where it plays […]

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Re: Tideline

As with “The House Beyond Your Sky,” what impresses me most about “Tideline,” by Elizabeth Bear is the sound and imagery of the prose. Here’s the opening: Chalcedony wasn’t built for crying. She didn’t have it in her, not unless her tears were cold tapered glass droplets annealed by the inferno heat that had crippled […]

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Re: A Small Room In Koboldtown

I have to say I’m finding the Hugo-nominated shorts disappointing so far. Another slight tale, “A Small Room in Koboldtown,” by Michael Swanwick, is set in your basic tough-guy, mixed ethnicity neighborhood, where the ethnicities are mythical creatures. The characters draw on multiple traditions, but the overall tone feels somewhere between Chicago, New Orleans, and […]

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