Tag Archives: stories of 2006

Re: Love Among the Talus

I am so far behind in listening to podcasts. Sadly, with the fiction podcasts, this is involving a lot of skipping ahead until I finally reach one that I enjoy listening to, like the pleasant reading on Podcastle of  “Love Among the Talus,” Elizabeth Bear.

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Do you like your cookies sweet or crispy?

Here’s a twofer Tuesday. Why not?

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Re: I’ll Give You My Word

In “I’ll Give You My Word,” by Diana Wynne Jones, Jethro’s little brother has a habit of looking angelic and egg-shaped while he spouts wonderful nonsense.

“Ponderous plenipotential cardomum,” he would say. “In sacks.” And after a bit, “Sentenious purple coriander.”

“Does that come in sacks too?” Jethro asked him.

“No,” Jeremy said. “In suitcases.”

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Re: Fear of Rain

While listening to a reading of “Fear of Rain,” by Robert T. Jeschoneck, I was immediately drawn in by  Aphrodite, a girl raised by Mr. Flood to drown Johnstown yet again. I liked that crazy old coot, Mr. Flood. The story is told with wonderful description, vivid magic, and a building tension. And it was nice to hear a story set in Jonestown.

Spoilers and maunderings follow

Re: I, Row-Boat

In “I, Row-Boat,” by Cory Doctorow, Robbie is a sentient rowboat who ferries human-shells out to the reefs to go diving. One day, that day gets ruined when someone out in the noösphere decides to give the reef sentience. The reef hates it so much, it wants to Kill All Humans. Robbie, however, is an Asimovist, finding purpose in the Three Laws of Robotics. When his human-shells Janice and Isaac, turn out to have Kate (and later Tonker) riding them, Robbie has to defend them.

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Re: The Night Whiskey

Originally presented in Salon Fantastique, and available in other collections, “The Night Whiskey,” by Jeffrey Ford steadily draws you in. The narrator, Ernest, begins with practicing how to poke dummies out of trees with a stick. If he misses or they fall badly, his mentor, old man Witzer spits and says:

“That there’s a cracked melon,” or “Get me a wet-vac.”

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Re: Homecoming at the Borderlands Café

While it’s not as graceful as “Family Values,” “Homecoming at the Borderlands Café,” by Carole McDonnell manages to create a world while the narrator, Mike, is sitting in the café eating dinner with his parents. It’s so static, most of the story is in his thoughts. But it takes place in a world where it’s a big deal when an interracial couple walk into the café.

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Re: Edward Bear and The Very Long Walk

I seem to be encountering a lot of bears lately. A couple friends of mine are working on stories about bears. I am discovering that I like stories by Elizabeth Bear. And recently I heard a delightful reading on Escape Pod of “Edward Bear and The Very Long Walk,” by Ken Scholes. It begins when A Bear of Little Brain awakens on a dying starship.

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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: The Unsolvable Death Trap

If you’re in the mood for a bit of dark humor, paranoia, and violence, you can get your fix from “The Unsolvable Death Trap.” In it, Jack Mangan paints a picture of a future New York, where the traffic is so bad rolling it up in the third dimension doesn’t help, corporate mergers have produced the Firestang and the Mercedai, and a cabbie’s best friend is still the souvenir baseball bat stashed under the seat.

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