Re: First Tuesday

Prompted by some of the electoral SF we mentioned, I reread “First Tuesday,” by Robert Reed. I remembered it wrong. It’s not about an election, it’s about the first national press conference.

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Re: Immortal Snake

I’m a sucker for stories based on myths and folktales, and even if I don’t know the original, I love that sense of ancient days, with kings and gods and priests, and impossible situations evaded with cunning. “Immortal Snake,” by Rachel Pollack, is mythic from beginning to end. Long ago, in a time beyond memory, […]

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Re: The Pyramid of Amirah

I seem to be on a James Patrick Kelly streak; it turns out that recently Beam Me Up played the reading from Free Reads of “The Pyramid of Amirah.” It’s quite short, which makes it hard for to say more than “it’s a moody, unsettling little story.” Well, October is the right time of year […]

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Re: Serpent

Okay, I feel better. I cracked open my copy of James Patrick Kelly‘s latest collection, The Wreck of the Godspeed, and got a few laughs from “Serpent.”  Told from the viewpoint of the serpent in the Garden, it’s worth reading (or listening to) just for the jokes. Like all good jokes, the story has plenty […]

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Re: The Ant King

I seem to be a Benjamin Rosenbaum fan. I enjoyed listening to the silly, dotcom picaresque of “The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale” from the absurd beginning. Sheila split open and the air was filled with gumballs. Yellow gumballs. This was awful for Stan, just awful. He had loved Sheila for a long time, […]

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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: 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: The Helper and His Hero

“The Helper and His Hero,” by Matthew Hughes is the latest installment of Guth Bandar’s adventures in the noösphere, a shared dreamspace. In the waking world, Guth Bandar is on a journey into the Swept, to investigate whether the gravitional anomalies there can affect the noösphere. The story is filled with picaresque inventions: the Swept […]

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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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Re: Kiosk

The Secret History of Moscow gave us a glimpse of the kiosks filling the streets. In “Kiosk,” by Bruce Sterling, we see into their hectic world. Borislav runs a little kiosk that’s so sucessful, a woman from the EU buys him out. His customers are heart-broken at the loss of the source of their hair […]

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