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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Erinn L. Kemper - The SongErinn L Kemper is a Canadian Horror writer living in the Carribean, with a number of published short stories to her name.

The Song is not something I would have rated as horror, but rather as desolate and dystopian; but I can see how you could arrive at that definition when coming from the other direction, so to speak. It is set on a former oil rig now serving as a whale farming and research station, and follows a change in behaviour of the whales, and associated changes to their songs.

It is, I'm sure to no surprise, not entirely cheerful, and for me had both echoes of Somtow Sucharitkul's Starship and Haiku and, to a lesser degree, of Peter Watt's Bulk Food. But judge yourself, the link is below and on the right - it's worth your time!

Norwegian-based High North Alliance claims the carbon footprint resulting from eating whale meat is substantially lower than that of beef. One serving of whale meat contains 181% of your daily intake of iron, and 55% of your daily intake of B12. It is low in fat and cholesterol. As of 2010, fluke meat cost up to two hundred dollars per kilogram, more than triple the price of belly meat.

—Dr. Suzanne Anderson, How Do You Like Your Whale?

The illustration on the right is by Mary Haasdyk

Links: Erinn L. Kemper - The Song - Starship and Haiku - Bulk Food - Mary Haasdyk

 

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

  

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

 

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!

 

 

 

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

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Aliette de Bodard – In the Vanishers’ Palace

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight

 

Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Doris Lessing - Shikasta

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

Somtow Sucharitkul - The Throne of Madness

 

Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

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