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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Xia Jia - A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight Clarkesworld Magazine has A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight, a rather wonderful story by Xia Jia (translated from the Chinese by Ken Liu) available for your reading in full.

It plays on Ghost Street, an entertainment district, staffed by robots (or are they?), animated by what used to be humans (or so they think?), made for humans. Except that these have stopped visiting - the only human is a boy who was left as a baby and is being looked after by the 'ghosts'.

Fascinating, well written, and ever so slightly creepy and unsettling I found. A story to enjoy, and a writer to watch!

The picture on the right is called Hyakki Yako (Hundred Demon Night Parade) and was painted by Jasmine Becket-Griffith. You can buy prints of it here.

E. Lily Yu - The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist BeesE. Lily Yu has published a short story, alluringly titled The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees, which can be read in full on the Clarkesworld Magazine website.

The story has been shortlisted by the SFWA for the 2011 Nebula Awards - in my opinion it is an interesting piece of fiction, and I can only wish her good luck!

It is set in a near-historical China, and is built around the fact that Wasp (and Bee) Hives actually are intelligent - “it was discovered that the wasp nests of Yiwei, dipped in hot water, unfurled into beautifully accurate maps of provinces near and far, inked in vegetable pigments and labeled in careful Mandarin that could be distinguished beneath a microscope.”

If you love maps, or are fascinated by Wasps and Bees, or, alternatively, are interested in the political subcontext, then have a go!

Paul Cornell - The Copenhagen Interpretation Paul Cornell has a BSFA shortlisted novella, called The Copehagen Interpretation available for reading over at Asimov's Science Fiction.

I rather enjoyed this story, which plays in an alternative time line, with a slightly steam-punky Victoriana feeling (no, I wouldn't call it Steampunk, not really), where humanity has spread throughout the Solar System, material/space etc can be contained within and affected by 'folds', and the powers of the day have reached a precarious (and protected at great effort) 'Balance', which in turn has stopped all or most research and exporation (as this would be one-sided, and thus threaten the balance).

But then again, any story which mashes up Quantum Theory with a contrapunktion (see what I did there?) of Dr Duncan MacDougall's Weight of the Soul and the Dark Matter in the universe gets my vote, for sure!

Read it for yourself here - and if you enjoy it, why not vote for it at the BSFA Awards?

Al Carter by artist Al Williamson Clarkesworld Magazine has a short story by World SF Prize winner Aliette the Bodard available for reading: Scattered Along the River of Heaven

According to her this is "the pseudo-Asian SF story with bots, a dying colonial empire, and a prison orbiting a black hole–aka the one where I had to improvise four pseudo-Chinese poems before I could actually write any of the story’s scenes. " (her words, not mine), and she's been asking for feedback on this, either on Clarkesworld or on the World SF Blog.

The picture on the right is by the late Al Williamson, the winner of the 2010 Spectrum Grand Master Award.

 The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of CuriositiesI'd like to draw your attention to two short stories I read (and enjoyed) recently - first up is Lavie Tidhar's Enter the Dragon. Later, Enter Another, a story craftily playing on the dissolution of reality in the wake of several Wikileaks. There's loads of name dropping, new concepts and technologies hinted at, and time going in loops - all handled with a similar lightness as the (also excellent) Dance Dance Revolution by Charlie Human.

The (short) story can be read in full on Lavie's Blog: Enter the Dragon. Later, Enter Another.

 

And to up the weirdness stakes, considerably, I suggest you follow this with The Gallows-Horse, a story by Iranian author Reza Negarestani. It concerns, well, no. I'm not going to try, read it for yourelf. The closest comparison that my mind threw up is some of Ian Sinclair's work, although it doesn't completely reach the hypnotic pull away from reality that Sinclair at his best manages.

The story is part of The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities anthology, and can be read in full on the Weird Fiction Review website: The Gallows-Horse

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

Lavie Tidhar - Central Station

 

Somtow Sucharitkul - The Throne of Madness

 

Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

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

 

Iain Sinclair - Radon Daughters

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

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