Tag Archives: stories of 2010

Re: Throwing Stones

Set in a Chinese-influenced fantasy world, “Throwing Stones,” by Mishell Baker is a slippery story about people with slippery shapes. An unnamed narrator is a man living as a woman in a “teahouse” in the city of Jiun-shi. He/she meets a Tuo, a “goblin” posing as a human being, making a living as a poet. The narrator wants to become a Seeress, and is earning enough money to pay for the entrance exam. He/she will worry later about whether they’ll let a man take the exam.

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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: The Heart of A Mouse

I guess the Halloween monster story for the Torque Control short story club must be “The Heart of A Mouse,” by K.J. Bishop. The beginning introduces us to a depressing post-apocalypse landscape with literal fallen angels rotting on the ground. And the narrator is a modified mouse.

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Re: My Father’s Singularity

For this week, Torque Control short story club refrains from giving us a monster story for Halloween, instead suggesting you read the relatively sentimental “My Father’s Singularity,” by Brenda Cooper.

Paul’s father is always telling him that he will live to see the Singularity and become something his father can’t understand. When Paul goes to the city for an education and a job to support his father and the family farm, we watch him grow up and his father age. We also see technology continue to change the world, so seamlessly that Paul seems to take it all for granted.

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Re: The Cage

About the worst thing I can say about  “The Cage,” by A.M. Dellamonica, is that the beginning gave me totally the wrong impression. On my first read, I bounced off the weight given to a story about the bloody murder one Pamela Adolpha, werewolf. I thought this going to be a gory story about werewolves. It’s not.

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Re: No Time Like the Present

In  “No Time Like the Present,” by Carol Emshwiller, a group of strangers come to a small town or suburb in Washington or Oregon. Everything seems so quotidian, I had time to wonder how this story would be received in a non-SF setting. To an SF reader, the strangers are obviously time travelers. At first, the main thing that sticks out is that they’re all tall and blond. Are they Viking time-travelers? We never find out who they are or why they came. When you realize that they seem to come from a not so distant future, their uniformity is even more creepy.

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Re: Now Open

My first delight in  “Now Open,” came in the opening, as the unnamed narrator meets a goth girl in a mall, selling time in a box. What a neat conceit, I thought. The next came when I  realized this was another story by K.J. Kabza. It’s always nice to stumble on more stories by an author you’re getting to like.

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Re: Miguel and the Viatura

I avoid reading headnotes to stories. I don’t mind when they tell me about the author. I appreciate the warning if it’s the twelfth installment of a long-running series. But I hate it when they say anything about the story. They either say too much and drop a spoiler, or they tell me something that prejudices me against it. Like saying there’s vampires. So when I failed to avoid the headnote for “Miguel and the Viatura” by Eric Gregory, and read that the story has a new take on the urban vampire, I had a sinking feeling.

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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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