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Michael Swanwick - Passage of EarthPassage of Earth is a short story by Award-winning (Nebula et al) author Michael Swanwick, published by Clarkesworld.

I cannot really call it a first contact scenario (although it takes place as part of one), as it plays out at the moment when humanity thinks they finally got their hands on a number of alien 'Worms' after one of their spaceships ends up in the Pacific. We see the mortician Hank perform an autopsy on one of the cadavers, brought in by his ex-wife, who now works for the governement.

Now, things are never as simple and straight forward with Aliens, of course, and this story has multiple levels of complications and implications which I won't spoil by pointing them out to you before you read the story yourself. You know the old saying about staring into the void... this here is similar, if a bit more physical. Passage, in ever so many ways.

The story is impressive, with a very interesting twist to it. And whilst I found some of the stylings and plot sub-threads to be over the top I would suggest you make up your own mind, this is inventive stuff right here. The story can be read on the Clarkesworld website for free - links are below and to the right. 

The picture on the right is, despite its Alien looks, of an Earth creature - namely a Scale Worm. 

Links: Passage of Earth - Michael Swanwick - Clarkesworld - Scale Worms

 

S.P. Somtow - Inquestor TalesWorld, rejoice, for what we believed impossible is coming true! S. P. Somtow, aka Somtow Sucharitkul, who faded from SF and focused on creating and conducting music, his other major muse (and his music is very much worth checking out!) is writing again - and writing more material in the Inquestor universe!

After 33 years, S.P. Somtow is finally creating a fifth book in the Inquestor universe, the galaxy-spanning science fantasy series that Theodore Sturgeon called "the greatest magnitude of spectacle and color since Olaf Stapledon." The book is being released in a series of installments in pulp-sized magazine format.

Besides the new book installments we also get the original short stories which turned into the original 4 books, we get notes on the language and other background material, we get introductions to the stories from other greats of the genre, and we get assorted commentary from the peanut gallery, as it should be. The first two installments are now available on Amazon, and more is to come.

Supporters of the author on Patreon get to read the new stories (and much else) early and for free, but that means you miss all the other fun! So I'd suggest you do both - support the creation of more of this on Patreon, but also buy the individual books. Because it's worth your time and money!

Links: S.P. Somtow - Inquestor Tales One: The Singing Moons - Inquestor Tales Two: A Woman Cloaked in Shadow - Patreon

 

Quinn Norton - Love in the Time of CryptographyJust a quick hint, a pointer to something rather extraordinary, and of course entirely topically relevant in these days:

have a look at Quinn Norton's Love in the Time of Cryptography over on Backchannel.

It's a deceptively simple story about withholding personal information from the authorities who, by default, feel entitled to this, and the consequences and complexities this can have if you attempt to live a 'normal' life in an environment which expects you to share and overshare these things.

It's fascinating, thought provoking, and (at least for me) slightly sad. But go read, and make up your own mind!

The illustration which goes with the story is by very talented Illustrator Daniel Stolle

Links: Quinn Norton - Love in the Time of Cryptography - Backchannel - Daniel Stolle

 

 

I Ate Three Eggs Every Single Morning For A Week - Here's What HappenedHere is an unexpected treat - and no, I don't mean the Eggs!

Behind Click-Bait Headlines like the one above you normally find either yawn-inducing mundanity not worthy of the over-hyped title, or advertising completely unrelated to the topic. If you're lucky...

Still, this here is very much worth reading, because of What Happened.

Enjoy!

I Ate Three Eggs Every Single Morning For A Week - Here's What Happened

From Every Day Should Be Saturday

 

 

Daniel Lieske - Wormworld Saga - Chapter 9This is just a quick note, as I've just tripped over the fact that Daniel Lieske has the 9th chapter in his long-standing webcomic (er, graphic web album? comic really doesn't do this justice!) called The Wormworld Saga available for all to see and read.

The Wormworld Saga follows the adventures of a boy called Jonas in a parallel world, which he entered through a picture/mirror/empty frame in his Grandmother's attic. So far so default a setting, what really sets this apart is the storytelling, but even more it's the artwork by Daniel which drives this. The drawings, in an unusual, vertical format, are exquisite, a visual smorgasbord of impression and references, really bringing to life the cultures, settings, and creatures in the story.

But go look for yourself - you will want to start with Chapter 1 if you have not read this before, there are no real jumping-on points, and it's very well worth starting at the beginning!

I notice that Daniel meanwhile also has a Patreon page, so if you like what you see you could, nah, should help him with making ends meet whilst he crafts these great stories (or you could always visit the shop, and buy the books, or merchandise, or the game to go with the on-going story!).

Anyway, enough hyperbole. Go look, and make up your own mind!

 

What I normally post here are things which are a bit more polished, a bit more finished and together that this, but this thread on Imgur by user Looked4LoveInAlderaanPlaces (terrible, terrible pun mate) called Nature, You Scary is really rather neat.

It all stems from a suggestion to come up with a scenario where aliens invade earth, effortlessly wipe out human defences, only to run into major issues from the local wildlife.

 

Or, to give you the suggested tag line:

They were expecting military resistance. They weren't counting on bears.

 

It's written in individual short bits, by different authors, in slightly differing styles, with no editing to hold it together or clean up the style (or the typos, for that matter), but it's hugely entertaining, and well worth reading.

The title itself is part of an Internet meme, and so is the picture on the right. Isn't this just the cutest little alien?

 

 

 

Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

Lavie Tidhar - Central Station

 

Aliette de Bodard – In the Vanishers’ Palace

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

S.P. Somtow – I Wake from a Dream of a Drowned Star City

 

Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

 

Iain Sinclair - Radon Daughters

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