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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Robert R. McCammon - Something Passed ByHere's a classic for you: Robert R. McCammon's 1989 short story Something Passed By, as posted on his own site.

A disorienting story, set in a disorienting world - not just to you, the reader, but to its remaining occupants, too. something has passed by Earth, and nothing is the same anymore - and the changes keep happening, like a spring winding down to its inevitable conclusion. Which might not be the end, but merely the end of everthing as we've known it.

Great stuff, and much recommended reading.

 

The picture on the right is by a (Korean?) artist called 非 (hi), of whom very little appears to be known.

 

Links: Robert R. McCammon - Something Passed By - Author's site - Artist

 

Yoon Ha Lee -  The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars

Here is a gem for my game-playing readers and friends - a story by Yoon Ha Lee, titled The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars.

It's about games, or, to be precise, about a world where all the Universe's games are mined from, and access to which is guarded by a tower and its warden (or is it the other way round?), who you have to pass to go and mine a game. Which can, and usually does, mean a challenge, and a game, and potentially consequences of losing said game.

I will not spill (and spoil) more of the story - go and ready it for yourself, it's available for free on Lightspeed Magazine. Yes, it has echoes of Ian M. Banks' Player of Games, but in a good and, in my opinion, non-derivative way.

It's also eligible for the 2014 Hugos, and has been recommended for such by Aliette de Bodard - I can heartily second that endorsement. Good stuff!

The Illustration is by Galen Dara

 

Paul Cornell - The Ghosts of ChristmasIf you feel like reading something during the Holiday Season to intersperse the relentless celebrating, eating, drinking, and opening of presents with some culture then I have a suggestion for you...

You might consider The Ghosts of Christmas, a short story with a rather Dickensian title by Paul Cornell, which has been made available on Tor. com for all our enjoyment, with an illustration by Scott Bakal.

Although I'm sure that you can also read this after Christmas, it just won't be as topical/timely anymore, I guess...

Either way - enjoy the story, enjoy your Christmas (or you days off should you not celebrate), and thanks for reading along!

 

Links: Paul Cornell - The Ghosts of Christmas - Tor.com - Scott Bakal

 

 

Aliette de Bodard - Ship's BrotherClarkesworld #88 contains, among works by Ken Liu, Cheng Jingbo, Yoo Ha Lee, and Robert Charles Wilson (and doesn't that line-up just make you want to buy it), a story by Aliette de Bodard called Ship's Brother. 

What's more, all of those are accessible for you to read online (thanks!), and you can find them either via the links below, or by moving on from Aliette's story once you have read it (yes, I have to insist).

The story plays in a society which has FTL ships - which require a human, or human-born post-human at their centre; and it's the duty of a women to birth one of those after their 'normal' child. And it can be the end of the mother, at lest mentally. (any flashbacks to Sucharitkul's Inquestor series are entirely mine, I know). We witness the birth of such a shipmind, and the impact this has on her family, and especially her brother. On the one hand a classic family tale; and on the other heart-wrenchingly heavy and sad, but also full of beauty.

But enough hyping already - go and ready it. And I guess, having birth and family relations on her mind a while back would have been rather close to home for Aliette, which might explain some of the emotional impact in the story...

Links: Ship's Brother - Clarkesworld - Aliette de Bodard

Douglas Lain - The Last Apollo MissionIn keeping with the topic of the previous review, here is a short story by Douglas Lain (a 'postmodernist' writer, whatever that is), titled The Last Apollo Mission, and originally published in 2011 in Rudy Rucker's magnificent (and magnificently weird) Flurb Magazine.

 

What does it deal with, you ask? A failed writer working as a bookseller, hired by Stanley Kubrik to write the script to a film, in a way which was never done before; and ending up on the moon together with her boyfriend. Or is it a stage set in the basement of the collapsed World Trade Centre? I guess, in many way, the story deals with the permeability of reality, to rather startling effect. Ah, just go read it already, ok?

The picture is a photoshop from a moon-landing-denier website, which I shall not link...

 

Links: The Last Apollo Mission - Douglas Lain - Rudy Rucker - Flurb

 


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments

 

Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep

 

Sydney Padua - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

 

Doris Lessing - Shikasta

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

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

 

Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

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