Tag Archives: stories I like

In which I finally enjoy the Hugo-nominated novellas

What are these novellas doing on this year’s Hugo ballot? I feel like a completely different group of people nominated them. They’re all enjoyable in some way, even if I wouldn’t go so far as to call all them science fiction.   One of them isn’t even a proper story.  Let’s start there.

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Re: Stereogram of the Gray Fort, in the Days of Her Glory

Usually a cool idea alone doesn’t do it for me. Sometimes I’m content with a story that encourages me to explore a cool idea. But what I really want with a cool idea is an awesome story. Like  “Stereogram of the Gray Fort, in the Days of Her Glory,” by Paul M. Berger. It’s the sort of story I was hoping to find when I decided to join the Short Story Club at Torque Control.

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Re: Divided By Infinity

Divided by Infinity,” by Robert Charles Wilson brings you back to the vanishing world of the used book store — the smell of old bindings, the rattle of bead curtains, the rumpled owner — but which world is it?

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Re: The Red Bride

From the opening line of “The Red Bride,” by Samantha Henderson, there is a lot you imagine that turns out to be different in truth.

You are to imagine, Twigling, the Red Bride to be a human, such as yourself, although she is in truth a creature of the Var.

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Re: Iteration

If you’re feeling down about the state of the world and need some way to imagine it getting better, you could read “Iteration,” John Kessel. Enzo is a grumpy checker at Tyler’s Superstore surrounded by grumpy people, until he receives an email that says: “Re-invent the world.” Bit by bit, he does, and so do an unknowable number of others. There’s a lovely sense of mystery about what force is driving the iterations.

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Re: Elegy for a Young Elk

It’s easy to talk about things you don’t like. In fact, it’s so fun you can get totally caught up in hacking a story to pieces. But even though it took me two tries to properly read “Elegy for a Young Elk,” by Hannu Rajaniemi, I liked it so much, I’m having trouble explaining why.

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Re: Will You Be An Astronaut?

In New Skies, there are a fair number of classics which are heavily anthologized elsewhere, such as “Out of All Them Bright Stars” and “They’re Made Out of Meat“. Most of the stories seem to be directed at young people who haven’t read science fiction before. I think if that were the case for me, I would have liked better the one about the woman who walked around the Moon, or the one about the guy fighting his way down and up an immense, city-like tower. But what led me to look for this collection was a wonderfully creepy reading on Escape Pod of  “Will You Be An Astronaut?,” by Greg Van Eekhout. This story takes the whole idea of a science fiction for young people in a whole, weird direction.

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Re: Eros, Philia, Agape

In “Eros, Philia, Agape,” by Rachel Swirsky, Lucian is a robot purchased by Adriana to be her lover. His brain is filled with the knowledge of famous poets and physicists and gardeners etc, and he is designed to change his personality so he will be in love with her. After they marry, Adriana and Lucian adopt a little girl, whom they name Rose. Over the course of the story, we see why Lucian feels he must give away all his possessions and leave the ones he loves.

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Re: Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs

Is Readercon more fun than a barrel of dinosaurs? Don’t answer that. Read or listen to  “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs,” by Leonard Richardson first and enjoy the episodic adventures of two dinosaurs from  Mars.

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Re:Think Like A Dinosaur

When I first read “Think Like A Dinosaur,” by James Patrick Kelly, and put the book down, all I could think was, Wow. What a wrenching story.

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