Re: Private Detective Molly

On the surface, “Private Detective Molly,” by A.B. Goelman seems to your basic SF detective story, with a contrived bad guy who wants to cheat sweet little Dorothy. And the only wise-cracking detective standing in the way is a six-inch doll, who says: I’m a sucker for a crying girl. You can call it programming […]


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Re: Family Values

In a wonderful example of graceful worldbuilding,”Family Values“, by Sara Genge plunges you into an alien society without stopping to explain. An alien society where females gain power by bearing children and keeping house, and teachers are high status? That’s different. An alien society where males aim to ingratiate themselves with breeding females? That’s familiar. […]

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Re: The Something-Dreaming Game

The first third of “The Something-Dreaming Game,” by Elizabeth Bear is utterly frank about how young people seek unusual sensations, enough that I can see why some people might be uncomfortable listening to it on Escape Pod. The narrator’s daughter, Tara, developed RSD, after breaking her arm. She gets an implant that keeps the searing […]

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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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Re: Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?

Set in the same universe of Learning the World, where stars are surrounded by green habitats, “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?,” by Ken McLeod starts out looking like a romp across the stars. The narrator sleeps with the wrong woman, and rather than work for the next 257 years to pay off his fine, he […]

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