Short Stories by Stewart C. Baker

Behind the First Years

Published: COSMOS Online, May 2013, which you can read here

Genre: science fiction

Length: about seven pages

Setting: future Earth

Interest: It is included in the 2014 annual Campbellian Anthology that was available back in January.

Summary: Pete is a newly minted Archivist who’s in charge of recording the dispersal, now that their space ship has gotten to its destination. However, when the airlock opens, the view doesn’t match the image on the video screens of the ship. Turns out the ship is hidden in an underground cavern, the Earth is a wasteland, and the ship was started to simulate space travel. The ship’s officers decide to head back to the ship and pretend to head off to a new planet, as other captains have done in the past.

Raising Words

Published: Penumbra eMag, July 2013 – a Japanese mythology issue you can purchase here

Genre: mythology

Length: about seven pages

Interest: It is included in the 2014 annual Campbellian Anthology that was available back in January.

Summary: The story is told by a Japanese girl about her father as he becomes more martial, killing savages, gods and kami alike. The girl goes into the forest and convinces a kami to kill her father to prevent him taking over her life as well.

Final thoughts: I preferred Behind the First Years to Raising Words. In Behind the First Years you have to wonder how many times the captains have “landed” and then decided that life on the ship was much better than life on the ruined Earth would be. I also wonder if one time they’ll get off the ship and find the Earth healed. Whenever a short story makes me think, I know it’s a good one. I don’t have much to say about Raising Words beyond the fact that the Japanese setting and mythology was a nice change from the more common Western stories.

Reading challenges fulfilled: none, since these were short stories.

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1 Comment

Filed under Book review

One response to “Short Stories by Stewart C. Baker

  1. Thanks, Natalie! I’m glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

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