Daily Archives: December 17, 2010

FridayFlash, What I’m not reading, Plans, Being semi-social

I have flash fiction, posted on a Friday: 129 Southbound at 52|250. There’s an odd formatting thing going on with this story. A few letters and parts of letters have been truncated.

Been cleaning-up my "currently reading" list. Reading Notes has details about why I abandoned Machine of Death and Strangers on a Train.

In general, I’m getting excited about starting new "plans" in the new year. Yeah, my track record with "plans" isn’t great, but it’s probably not harmful to use them to be productive for a while. The reading end is outlined over at Reading Notes. As for the writing, I’ll be participating in A Round of Words in 80 Days. My goal will be 50K words on Luck for Hire. I’ll post specifics closer to the date.

I’ve also been sorting through some of my social networks in an effort streamline. In the meantime, I’ve been pretty hermit-y. Online at least. Eric and I had dinner at La Grande Orange on Sunday with Tyler, Reif and Jeff. Tasty, interesting pizza. I think my favorite of what we had was the Rocket Man: occasionally spicy red fresno chiles, broccolini, roasted garlic and oven-dried tomatoes. We’ll be having dinner with Eric’s family this weekend in honor of Eric’s graduation, followed by Christmas festivities, and Chris being in town until January.

Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

Stopped reading after 54 pages.

I’m a fan of Tom Ripley. How I can like a lying sociopath is a testament to Highsmith’s writing. Guy Haines and Charlie Bruno do not interest me. The pacing is quite slow and the set-up plight of these characters feels somewhat mundane. When reading a book starts feeling like a chore, it’s time to move on.

Machine of Death

Machine of Death, edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki !

Machine of Death coverThe premise: When fed a blood sample, the machine will predict a person’s cause of death, usually in a non-straightforward way.

This anthology didn’t catch fire for me. The repeated explanation of the premise, even indirectly, became somewhat tedious. Maybe this is an anthology I’ll dig into occasionally, but it’s certainly not one I’m going to read straight through. Strike that.  Considering the amount of things I want to read, I probably won’t  come back to it. The stories are all very short, and out of the six I read, only one contained a character I remotely cared about.

And this is science fiction at its most simplistic: Here’s a technology. Don’t think about how it works or how it came to be,  only be concerned about how people react to it. I suppose you could look at the mysteriousness of the machine as a metaphor for the singularity, but technologies don’t come into being in a vacuum.

Notes:

“Flaming Marshmallow” by Camille Alexa. First person, present. Female protag.

“Fudge” by Kit Yona. Third person, past. Is every story going to explain the concept? Male protag.

“Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions” by Jeffery Wells. Third, past. No explanation! No mall! So far, my favorite. Screwy protagonist. Male portag.

“Despair” by K.M. Lawrence. First, past. This narrator doesn’t sound female to me.

“Suicide” by David Michael Wharton. Third, past. Male protag.

“Almond” by John Chernega. First, past. Written as log entries. Male protag. Second favorite. First to imply that the knowledge itself might be harmful.