Posted in Uncategorized

#24in48 ~ Update 3


18 stories
9:31 hours

Quick update on the past six stories:

13 – “Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho
Genre: mythological mash-up
Quote: You don’t know who Sun Wukong is? You’re kidding! You haven’t heard of the Great Sage Equal to Heaven, the one who is Mindful of Emptiness, the Exquisite and Most Satisfactory Prince of Monkeys, defier of gods and Buddhas alike, scorner of other people’s dignity and personal inspiration to little monkeys everywhere?
Comment: The most fun I’ve had all weekend.

14 – “Ghoulbird” by Claude Seignolle
Genre: horror
Quote: ‘What a pity that this fabled Ghoulbird of yours is only a legend; otherwise, I would have listened to its song and applauded with enthusiasm!’
Comment: But, of course, the ghoulbird isn’t just a legend. Best not confuse a harbinger with the doom it announces.

15 – “The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon
Genre: fantasy
Quote: …obviously if you had unholy powers, you’d want to use them on your tomatoes.
Comment: Considering how much I’ve always liked Ursula Vernon’s art, I’m surprised I haven’t read that much of her fiction. This is a Southwester fairy tale with tendrils into other stories. I dig it.

17 – “Lich-House” by Warren Ellis
Genre: science fiction
Quote: The house watched, and managed, the smallest parts of its anthropic usage. It made the occupant feel like her house liked her: that her house could feel and think.
Comment: Eh, wasn’t feeling this story of a smart house and its “aggressively non-networked intruder.”

16 – “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
Genre: horror
Quote: They’re never as strong as they think they are.

18 – “Magdala Amygdala” by Lucy A. Snyder
Genre: horror
Quote: The truth is, unless you’ve been living in some isolated Tibetan monastery, you’ve already been exposed to Polymorphic Viral Gastroencephalitis.

Comment: I haven’t cared too much for the last three stories in this group and two of the last three (#16 & #18) suffer the same problem. The news has been filled with lots of ugliness lately; I find no catharsis in serial killers and zombies.

Posted in Female Author, Male Author, Short Story

#24in48 ~ Update #2


My List
Update #1

12 stories
6:18 hours

At about noon yesterday, a was slammed by a combination of cramps and an RA flare-up. I struggled through story #11 and called it day reading-wise. So, once again, I’m not going to make it to 24 hours of reading. But I still have a few good hours left in me as long as I stay clear-headed. I’ll probably forego further updates until Tuesday.

7 – “Cassandra” by Ken Liu
Genre: speculative fiction, superhero
Quote: “Wouldn’t it be better,” I plead, “to kill the man long before he got on the plane rather than having to rescue the plane as it plunges toward the ground?”
Comment: What if the difference between a superhero and a supervillain is *when* they decide to take action.

8 – “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky
Quote: I would astonish everyone assembled, the biologists and the paleontologists and the geneticists, the reporters and the rubberneckers and the music aficionados, all those people who—–deceived by the helix-and-fossil trappings of cloned dinosaurs––believed that they lived in a science fictional world when really they lived in a world of magic where anything was possible.
Comment: This story has been a firebrand in the Sad Puppies/SJW debate. And…I sort of agree with the Puppies. WAIT! That doesn’t mean that this isn’t an excellent story. It’s one that’s going to stick with me. I won’t say a lot about it because it’s short and the link is right up there. It literally took me 6 minutes to read it, so check it out. But it’s also not really science fiction or fantasy. It’s sort of an extended literary prose poem. If you’re going to give awards for genre, give awards to genre… (And I won’t get into the ghetto-ization that genre causes and why giving a genre award probably doesn’t lead to wider readership…)

9 – “The Shell of Sense” by Olivia Howard Dunbar
Genre: horror, sort of
Quote: Then, for this was my first experience of the shadow-folded transition, the odd alteration of my emotions bewildered me.
Comment: Once I thought about writing a story about a ghost left watching as everyone else’s live continues. I would have been 100 year too late to the concept. Lovely prose.

10 – “The Priory Church” by James Collins
Genre: horror
Quote: (brain fog set in…)
Comment: Really enjoyed how different the voice of pompous Peverell was in comparison to the frame story.

11 – “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” by Aliette de Bodard
Genre: science fiction
Quote: Mem-implants always went from parent to child. They were a family’s riches and fortune; the continued advice of the ancestors, dispensed from beyond the grave.
Comment: But what is your parent is an important scientist? And you’re…not. Would those memories be wasted?

12 – “Listen” by Karin Tidbeck
Genre: science fiction
Quote: In the moment they spoke, they were completely understandable. But as soon as they fell silent, any memory of what they had said disappeared.
Comment: Both of the stories on my list from have music as a part of them. Also an interesting synergy between this story and “Candy Girl.” Both have characters who wish desperately (and foolishly?) to integrate into another culture.