Tag Archives: second person

Re: Recalculating

Unlike Stross’s “Palimpsest,” I can understand why “Recalculating,” by Tina Connolly uses second person. Like  “Directions,” the story is told by a GPS system, giving such directions as:

Show them your spinach and the guard will let you in.

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Re: Palimpsest (by Stross)

Palimpsest,” by Charles Stross had great buzz at Readercon, even inspiring a panel. When I finally squeezed it into my reading, I could see why. It’s filled with great mind-stretching concepts.  There are beautiful passages that are easily the best things I’ve ever read by him. You’ve got to respect a time-travel story that goes to 19th century Germany and Never Mentions Hitler. Like “Sinner, Baker,(etc.)” it builds an amazing edifice, with multiple histories of the universe. And yet, the story falls short. Continue reading

Re: The Button Bin

I don’t automatically reject second person, but I’m always surprised by its use. It’s such a strange,  almost invasive way to tell a story. I need to think about why it was used. In the case of “The Button Bin,” by Mike Allen I think it serves as an extended metaphor for the final image of the story. But before you, (Oops! There’s that second person again!), before the reader gets there, the story has to make second person point of view work.

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Re: Directions

For those of you who are interested in second person fiction, there’s a curious little story available on PodCastle called “Directions,” by Caleb Wilson. It’s a flash piece that lives and dies by the ingenuity of its creation and beauty of description, as it tells you how to embark on a journey into a strange land. Best flavor text ever.

Re: Halting State

When an army of Orcs rob a bank, you’re know you’re in for a good time. So who thinks it’s worthwhile to raid the central bank of the gameworld Avalon Four? Sue, an Edinburgh cop, Elaine, a forensic auditor, and Jack, a gaming programmer, are called together to find out. Throw in corporate backstabbing, terror threats, and international espionage, and enjoy Halting State, by Charles Stross.

The moment what seems a game draws Jack and Elaine into real-world danger, I knew I wasn’t putting the book down. Sure enough, the last 150 pages flew by, until I finished the book after 1 am. Any time a book keeps me up like that, I know I’ve found something that pushes the right buttons. There are two things, however, that push the wrong buttons.
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