Short Story Roundup: Those Things You Mean to Read

I use Instapaper to save stories and articles to read later.

Sometimes “later” ends up being two years later, as is the case with these stories.

The Story They Wouldn’t Publish by Lavie Tidhar (it helps if you’re familiar with Ender’s Game and that Orson Scott Card is a virulent homophobe)

Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders (which won a Hugo so, y’know, quality)

Valley of the Girls by Kelly Link (I may need to read this again to fully understand it)


Short Story Roundup

Today was a procrastination-heavy day. I went to the post office, cooked, exercised, watched Fringe (reel it in, crazycakes), put new velcro on my sheep plushie (not worth explaining) and cleaned out my Delicious bookmarks until somehow it became 4pm. Having woken up at 7am you’d think those things wouldn’t take so long, yet here we are.

Spinning Out by Jamie Barras

The Integrity of the Chain by Lavie Tidhar

The Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String by Lavie Tidhar

Short Story Roundup

When you read science fiction by white, Western writers, the worlds they build and the characters they write are based on white, Western assumptions. This doesn’t mean WOC (writers of color) write “exotic” fiction (I’d like the word “exotic” to die in a fire frankly) but that writers immersed in a non-white or non-Western society/culture/language/viewpoint imagine futures and fictions that are different than the ones I imagine.

From the Lost Diary of Treefrog7 by Nnedi Okorafor – I like the Wiki-like supplementals you can get by clicking the links in this story. Some of the info seems totally absurd, but is it because we’re reading science fiction or because even future people write crap on Wikis without mods? I suspect the latter plays at least a small part.

Anyone who knows what to make of the ending, go for it.

I also recommend Nnedi’s novel (though major trigger warning for rape) Who Fears Death.

Elegy for a Young Elk by┬áHannu Rajaniemi – This and the story above merge biology and technology in a way I don’t often read. Also bear drunkards, plagues that infect guns, and gods kept out of (and inside) cities by literal firewalls.

Short Story Roundup

My internet died, suddenly and one would hope painlessly, after I got back from my Saturday morning run. Alas! So though my book review had already been written and automated, this post was languishing in drafts and couldn’t go up until now.

Home-internet is still down, but bless you, work internet.

Re: progress, my inability to access The Interwebs made me super productive. Two whole chapters knocked out. I should probably learn a lesson or something from this… hmmmmmm…

The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang – Long but worth the read. Probably the best short story I’ve read in a while. I’ll be keeping an eye out for his other work.

Long Enough and Just So Long by Cat Rambo

The Sky That Wraps the World Round, Past the Blue and into the Black by Jay Lake

Short Story Roundup

The Necklace, Guy de Maupassant – I have no idea how this classic got into my ‘To Read’ list, but it brought back all sorts of high school English class nostalgia. Now let’s spend 20 minutes discussing the merits of telling the truth so you don’t end up in crippling debt for 10 years.

Escape from Spiderhead, George Saunders – Part of scifi’s magic comes from making often-ignored reality (see: systematic degradation of human beings in prison) into something we can acknowledge as horrifying.

No Return Address, Sigrid Ellis – When all those plucky young adventurers go off to save the world, what do their moms think?

Short Story Roundup

Every Saturday is now Short Story Roundup day here on the blog. I’ll dig through my epic pile of stories waiting to be read and highlight a few.

A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc -or- A Lullaby, Helen Keeble – A lesson in sociology, and the doomed-to-failure practice that is ascribing our own values – and indicators of sex – on others. It might’ve worked better if not for the very last segment.

First Person Shooter, Charles Yu – I’m always for a little genre-bending, even more so if it creates sweet zombie ladies just trying to get ready for a date.

The Faithful Soldier, Prompted, Saladin Ahmed – Good worldbuilding in a small space.