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Links to Short Stories around the Interwebs

Ferrett Steinmetz - EscapePod has published an online readable version of Ferrett Steinmetz's short story "Run," Bakri Says on their website. This was originally published in Asimov's last October, but appears now to be available for general consumption on the open Internet - to the benefit of all, I have to say after reading the story!

"Run," Bakri Says plays in a scenario where the inventor of some technological breakthrough, who also is a Bomb/IED making specialist in some unnamed insurgency, has been caught up in a general round-up by the American soldiers. It plays in real life, on Video Games, and on how time travel could, just could, turn real life into some kind of Video Game if you had save points you could go back to...

It's unsettling, it's thought provoking, and it's rather well executed. A candidate for an award, I would think...

Full story here.

Jo Walton - Unreliable WitnessI've come across this 2001 short story called Unreliable Witness by Jo Walton, posted on the Strange Horizons site.

It's a 1st person account, nominally transcribed from tape, by a senile old lady in an old people's home who is visited by an Alien.

It's short, delightful, thought provoking, and ever so slightly emotional as most of us have family members in similar situations (minus the Alien, in most cases, I presume).

The full story can be read here, or listened to as a Podcast on Drabblecast.

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!

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.

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.

 

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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