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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Angela Slatter - St. Dymphna’s School For Poison GirlsTor.com have reprinted Angela Slatter's collection The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings.

To launch this they have posted a little taster, called St. Dymphna’s School For Poison Girls. It is, to some extent, a school and schoolgirl story, albeit with a twist. St Dymphna's is a finishing school - for girls who plan to kill their future husband, and potentially more of his family, in the name of revenge, of family honour, or any other societal reason.

But, as you might have guessed, there's more to the school than simply preparing girls to kill proficiently!

The story in illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Kathleen Jennings - the picture to the right is an example.

It's an entertaining read, and a good recommendation for the book, methinks!

 

Links: Tor.comAngela SlatterSt. Dymphna’s School For Poison Girls - Kathleen Jennings

 

Aliette de Bodard - The Breath of WarWhilst I'm enjoying myself at Dysprosium, the 66th National SF Convention out in Heathrow, here is an interesting short story by Aliette de Bodard, called The Breath of War.

It talks about  a society coming out of a (civil) war, about what people do during such a time, even if not directly involved, and what his means you have to live with afterwards, when times and the situation have changed, when you're older, and when your aims and desires have evolved.

Haunting, fascinating, and nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award (which is for stories published in 2014, and will be awarded in 2015).

 

The picture on the right is from the Beneath Ceaseless Skies, where the story was first published.

 

Links: DysprosiumAliette de BodardThe Breath of War - Beneath Ceaseless Skies

 

Peter Orullian - A Beautiful AccidentTor.com have not been entirely lucky with their recent acquisitions of short stories for their site, for a number of reasons.

 This here, though, is really rather neat - have a look at Peter Orullian's A Beautiful Accident

This is a Sheason story, set in a culture which follows a path of pain, and more relevant, suffering; all in the name of finding themselves, and keep themselves grounded in reality and the world. By bringing a stranger, foreign to their ways, into their midst it talks about being human, about how new thoughts can fit in with old and established ones, and about bitter lessons that need to be learned.

It also comes with a gorgeous illustration by Tommy Arnold - click through to the story to see it in all its glory.

 

Links: Tor.com - Peter Orullian - A Beautiful Accident - Tommy Arnold

 

Xia Jia - Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, JoyThis is a recommendation for the wonderful, and wonderfully understated Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy by the Chinese SF writer Xia Jia, translated by the apparently ever-present Ken Liu.

The story consists of a number of short vignettes, focussing on family occasions and celebrations in a near-future Chinese society.

It was, in it's translated form, published over at Clarkesworld - go check it out, it's well worth your time if you have any interest in non-US/UK based SF with an interesting societal slant.

 

Links: Xia JiaKen LiuClarkesworld - Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy

 

Mary Robinette Kowal - The Lady Astronaut of MarsHere's a winner!

Or, to be more precise, here's this year's Hugo-winning Novelette: Mary Robinette Kowal's excellent story The Lady Astronaut of Mars.

This story, and the Hugo Awards, have a bit of a history, with the story being first nominated in 2012, then disallowed for being an Audio-only book; subsequently published as written words in 2013, and thus eligible for the ballot again this year. And deservedly winning it.

Elma was the first human on Mars, in the 50s, known to all and sundry as the Lady Astronaut of Mars. Now, approaching her dotage (and living on Mars) she is offered the opportunity she wasn't daring to hope for anymore, but kept dreaming of: to go back into space, back to the stars. But going means leaving her terminally ill, beloved husband behind...

I won't spoil more of the story, the above is more than enough already. This is exceedingly well written - it is engaging, thought provoking, and ever so slightly twee and soppy. Just enough to make it feel comfortable, as someone pointed out. Indeed.

You can read the whole story, including some more on the convoluted background and publication history over at Tor.com.

Links: Mary Robinette Kowal - The Lady Astronaut of Mars - Tor.com - Mary's Blog

 

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

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

 

Iain Sinclair - Radon Daughters

 

Lavie Tidhar - Central Station

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Doris Lessing - Shikasta

 

Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

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