The weirdest thing about going to the dentist and getting my teeth cleaned is, well, my teeth are clean afterward. For the next few weeks, every time I brush, I’m going to stare at my teeth and think, Where are the coffee stains? What is this alien whiteness?
What I really need to keep that whiteness is the toothbrush in “Conversations With and About My Electric Toothbrush,” by Derek Zumsteg.
Some science fiction reads like popular science writing dressed up in story. “The House Beyond Your Sky,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, is a story you really can’t understand unless you already know some science. The references to cosmology–like simulated universes and critical constants–go completely unexplained. And you know what? I like being treated as an adult.
Come here, cher, and I tell you a story.
The opening lines of “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche,” by Delia Sherman establish an intimate narrative voice, so clear you can hear her speaking inside your head. Better yet, read it out loud.
Cadence is an albino girl who lives out in the swamp with her Tante Eulalie and the loup-garous. She tells several little tales about herself and her world. Then ‘Dres Petitpas himself shows up at the halfway point, and he is no mere story to laugh at. He tricked a man out of his father’s violin. He has plans for his sons, like who they will marry and who they will be. And like a proper villain, he entertains delusions of grandeur. Continue reading