Re: Special Economics

Many moons ago, there was a Meetup about beginnings.  At the time, I was struggling with writing a beginning, and I particularly had in mind the Four Elements of a good beginning: Character, Conflict, Specificity, Credibility. We read the beginnings of several good stories, and I was especially impressed by the beginning of “Special Economics,” […]


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Re: Gifting Bliss

So I’m going through my archives of stories I like, which gave me an excuse to listen again the Drabblecast of “Gifting Bliss: Fifteen Years Later, Jason Avery’s Magic is Still Saving the World” by Josh Rountree. It’s a charming presentation, a kind of musical bio show, complete with promo break. Considering that I’m not […]

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Re: The Dyslexicon

Here’s another bit of silliness. “The Dyslexicon,” by Carl Frederick is almost too silly for words. That’s must be why it turns words inside out, mixes them, and shuffles them about.  Filled with all sorts of wordplay, from spoonerism to bad puns, the story presents a conversation between a dyslectic robot interview with the Head […]

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Re: All Flee The Vocab Quiz

So, let’s see. “Shoggoths in Bloom” cast an admiring eye on squamous creatures. “Dark Heaven” offered mystical squamous creatures. Well, actually, neither of them were really squamous even if they were creatures. No, for real squamous horror, you need to go back to a Podcastle miniature form last fall called “All Flee the Vocab Quiz,” […]

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Re: Standards

Told as the rejection letter from a science journal, Standards, by Richard K. Lyon, is full of deft hints of adventure and dry put-downs of the sort of mad genius who submits patents for perpetual motion machines and trisects angles in his sleep. And I think that sentence is almost as long as the story. […]

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Re: The Twilight Year

After enjoying “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide” and “Pride and Prometheus,” I kept flipping through that same issue of F&SF and got caught up in “The Twilight Year,” by Sean McMullen. It begins in Britain long after the Romans have left little behind but ruins. The narrator is a bard who seems to have an effect […]

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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 Tooth Fairy

Telling us a variant on Pratchett’s multiple tooth fairies, “The Tooth Fairy,” by Jeffrey Valka sounds exactly like the absurd thing a father tells his kids just to mess with them. Like Calvin’s Dad. You might feel like you’ve heard this sort of thing before, and then the last line of the story turns the […]

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