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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Earlier this year the latest installment of the Pan-African science fiction anthology AfroSFv3, edited by Ivor W Hartmann, was released.

To whet the appetite we are given free access to the short story Njuzu by  Zimbabwean author TL Huchu from it;  interweaving traditionally SF vocabulary and setting about an accident on a mining colony on Ceres with Shona mythology to dazzling effect. Telling from this freebie in the Johannesburg Review of Books I reckon that  we are in for a treat with the collection!

AfroSFv3 Author Spotlight: T.L. Huchu’s work has appeared in Interzone, The Apex Book of World SF 5, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, The Year's Best Crime and Mystery Stories 2016, AfroSFv1, and elsewhere. He enjoys working across genres, from crime to sci-fi to literary fiction. Currently, he is working on new fantasy novel. Find him @TendaiHuchu

Links: TL Huchu - Njuzu - Johannesburg Review of Books - AfroSFv3

  

Future Tense Fiction is a series of short stories from Future Tense and the ASU (Arizona State University)'s Center for Science and the Imagination.

It is published monthly on Slate - the theme for April-June 2019 was Space Settlement. The series focuses on how technology and science will change our lives.

And I would suggest you have a look at the May installment, the short story 'No Moon and Flat Calm' by Elizabeth Bear; mixing space exploration with the lessons learned from the Titanic.

The accompanying picture is by Lisa Larson-Walker

 

Links: Elizabeth Bear - No Moon and Flat Calm - Slate - Future Tense - ASU - Lisa Larson Walker 

 

 

Ted Chiang - Hell Is the Absence of GodHere's one I missed at the time - my loss, of course, and all the more my enjoyment and amazement of reading this now. Should, for whatever reason, you be in the same boat, then let me strongly suggest you spend half an hour reading Ted Chiang's novelette Hell Is The Absence of God.

Yes, the title is in itself a Christian quote I reckon, and the story setting/world builds from some parts of current Christian world-view/mythology (and I leave it to the reader to decide how far this is actually Christian, or if the story really constitutes a criticism of said religion). This is a world where the existence of God, of Heaven and Hell, and of Angels is evident, visible, tangible, and thus a major fact of life. Angels visit/pass through the world as a side effect of whatever business they are on, and effect miracle healings, life changing events, but also death and destruction.

There are two groups of people - those who are devout, and will thus go to heaven (and upon death it is observable which direction the soul takes!), and those who are no and go to hell, which is characterised by the absence of God. And, like any such system with decision points, influences, and partly deterministic outcomes there are people gaming the system...

In my opinion not about religion (never mind a specific one per se) but about the nature of belief, devotion, and what it does to a society. Also, in my opinion, a grand piece of writing and well deserving the Hugo and Nebula Awards it won!

 

 

Mame Bougoma Diene - Another Day in the DesertLet me point you at a fascinating gem over on Escape Pod - a short story by Mame Bougouma Diene titled Another Day in the Desert.


This is available to you both to read, and as a podcast narrated by Halima Salah.

As Escape Pod put it:
Mame Bougouma Diene is a Senegalese American humanitarian living in Brooklyn, NY with a fondness for tattoos, progressive metal and policy analysis. He is the Francophone/US spokesperson for the African Speculative Fiction Society. Another Day in the Desert is a prequel to “Ogotemmeli’s Song” released [...] in AfroSFv3, and also a prequel to “Apes and Satellites” published by Brittle Paper in 2017.

The picture on the right is from the Escape Pod profile of the Narrator of the podcast, Halima Salah.

Links: Mame Bougouma Diene - Another Day in the Desert - Escape Pod

 

Zen Cho - If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try AgainLet me give you a story of ascendance. Or, rather, a story of repeatedly failed ascendance, following an Imugi (Korean Lesser Dragon, some kind of giant serpent) in its repeatedly thwarted attempts to become a Dragon and enter the gates of heaven. It's a story of persistence, of human love, and of the coming together of two very different world views; and it's great.

Zen Cho is a Malayan author living in the UK - her website is linked below, and I would suggest you check it (and her other work) out.

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again was was published by Barnes&Noble

The cover design on the right is by Shirley Jackson

Links: Barnes&Noble - If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again - Zen Cho - Shirley Jackson

 

 

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

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

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

 

Somtow Sucharitkul - The Throne of Madness

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Aliette de Bodard – In the Vanishers’ Palace

 

Iain Sinclair - Radon Daughters

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

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