Tag Archives: Strange Horizons

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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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: Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra

Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra,” by Verdana Singh introduces us to Somadeva, who collected many stories into the Kathāsaritsāgara, or Ocean of Stream of Stories. I like these sort of nested stories, with layers upon narrative layers, like the Arabian Nights, or the Saragossa Manuscript. Somadeva tells us that he collected the Kathāsaritsāgara to divert his queen Sūryavati long ago. Now, in this story, he is a ghost in a box, telling stories to Isha in the distant future. Like the traditional collections, “Somadeva” is loosely woven, but instead of layers, it’s more like a pair of nets, one from the future, one from the past, each casting out into the sea of stories and trying to pull the other in. For a while, it seems equally possible that Somadeva is both telling Isha about Sūryavati and Sūryavati about Isha.

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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: The Fallen and the Muse of the Street

I’ve grown to trust the principle that the first pages of a short story are going to be indicative of the rest. In other words, if I don’t like the beginning of a story, I feel free to put it down and go on to the next. I almost did that to “The Fallen and the Muse of the Street“. Fallen angels cruising the seedier streets of New Orleans ain’t my bag. (It might be yours, though).
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Do you like your cookies sweet or crispy?

Here’s a twofer Tuesday. Why not?

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Re: Private Detective Molly

On the surface, “Private Detective Molly,” by A.B. Goelman seems to your basic SF detective story, with a contrived bad guy who wants to cheat sweet little Dorothy. And the only wise-cracking detective standing in the way is a six-inch doll, who says:

I’m a sucker for a crying girl. You can call it programming if you want, but I think it’s Molly-Doll nature. Just like human nature, but a whole lot more decent.

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Re: Bears

Bears” by Leah Bobet opens with one of those sweeping statements that just beg to be justified:

Ninety-eight percent of all fictional deaths are directly attributable to being eaten by bears.
Bullshit, you say? What about those shooting and stabbings and drownings and beatings and death by Doomed Gay Manlove?
Well, it’s not my problem if you can’t see the bears.

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Re: The House Beyond Your Sky

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.

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