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Horacio Sentíes Madrid - The TransformistThe World SF Blog has published a story called The Transformist by Horacio Sentíes Madrid as an extract/teaser from the Mexican anthology Three Messages and a Warning by Small Beer Press. The picture on the right is of Arturo Brachetti, a Transformist.

“The Transformist” is a tale about the concept of reality. The story is based in the first description of Frégoli Syndrome by Professor Paul Courbon and Dr. G. Fail in January 17th, 1927. Leopoldo Frégoli (Roma 1867 – Viareggio 1936) was an Italian transformer actor who was famous because he was capable to modify his physical and psychological appearance—specially his face—in a very fast way during his performances, he could play up to sixty characters in one performance. Frégoli wrote in his memoirs in 1936 that “Art is the Life and the Life is the Transformation.” Frégoli Syndrome consists of the conviction that some physical and psychological characteristics go through from one person to another. This syndrome occurs after right frontal lobe lesions secondarily to trauma, neurodegenerative diseases, or a stroke. In the tale some of the philosophical and historical ideas about reality, from Parmenides to Henri Bergson are described. Some of the events of Sarah Bernhardt’s life are included since this actress was part of the delirious ideation of the first patient diagnosed with this syndrome. Physical and psychological characteristics from this patient are described in the tale including his belief in “Mentalism.” The importance of the memory in the perception of reality is emphasized, so Marcel Proust becomes a central figure in the story.

Justina Robson - Blood and InkJust a quick Holiday Season update, in case anyone is running short on reading material:

There is a new Lila Black (the main protagonist from the Quantum Gravity Series by Justina Robson) short story available in the 4th issue of Andromeda's Offspring, Theresa Derwin's free eFanzine.

It's rather entertaining, even if I'm not entirely sure if it's canon, and if, where it would fit in... but yes, I'd pay for more Lila Black, so here's to hope!

Links: Blood and Ink, Andreomeda's Offspring, Justina's Blog, more books by Justina Robson

Nnedi Okorafor - African SunriseSubterranean Press has published the Fall 2012 edition of their Suberranean Press Magazine, which contain a rather magnificent novella by Nnedi Okorafor, called African Sunrise.

The story follows Phoenix, an experimental (post-?)human with special abilities/powers, created and modified as a test subject in Tower 7 by the 'Big Eye', all in the name of science and the various, not always verys salubrious uses it is being put to. It also talks about the meaning of 'home' and 'belonging' as well as the responsibilities that come with freedom.

The story can be read, for free, here on the Subterranean website - I'd suggest that you do so, but also that you purchase the magazine itself!

A. S. Salinas - Lohengrin & TanhauserI would like to draw your attention to Lohengrin & Tanhauser, a rather marvelous story by A. S. Salinas which can be found in Issue 13 of Rudy Rucker's 'Webzine of Amazing Tales', Flurb.

I very much liked the lightness of touch and general cleverness, as well as the incessant name dropping and references to classic tropes and other works (Bene Tesseract, anyone?).

Entertaining stuff - we want more! The picture to the right is part of a drawing by Lee Sargent - I found it rather fitting for a story on a low-gravity alien world where the inhabitants go around on pogosticks (no Predators, though).

Links: Lohengrin & TanhauserAuthor's Blogger pageFlurb

Katherine Heath Shaeffer - An Open Letter in Defense of Our Alien OverlordsDaily Science Fiction recently posted a story by Katherine Heath Shaeffer called An Open Letter in Defense of Our Alien Overlords.

Go read the story. And sign up for their daily SF story!

Our alien overlords meant us no harm.
I understand the frustration and resentment that this sentiment will no doubt inspire.

I know that none of us who were alive then will ever forget...

 

Iain Sinclair - Radon Daughters

 

Doris Lessing - Shikasta

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

 

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

 

Lavie Tidhar - Central Station

 

Somtow Sucharitkul - The Throne of Madness

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