Tag Archives: aliens

Choices, in Sequential Order by Karlo Yeager Rodriguez

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: April, 2016 in Nature

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Earth, 2300s

Summary: An alien xenobiologist has come to Earth and been turned into a snack for scorpion babies. The xenobiologist is rambling to the creature as it prepares the narrator for eating by the scorpion babies. At the same time, the xenobiologist’s suit is running a diagnostic to determine what kind of creature attacked.

Final thoughts: An interesting contrast between the dichotomous key trying to identify the Earth creature and the reminiscing the narrator is doing. They know they are going to die, but are still fascinated by the creature, fully acknowledging that the fascination may be a product of some kind of venom. It takes longer for the suit to realize the Earth creature is dangerous than for the narrator to know that, since they are paralyzed and can tell the suit is damaged.

As an aside, I’m always surprised when I see a science fiction story printed in Nature since it is a big name science publication. But, this is a science-heavy story so I guess it fits.

Title comes from: The action is set against a set of questions designed to identify the Earth creature

 

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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

This book got a lot of buzz when it was translated into English, including winning the Hugo. I was interested because it was Chinese science fiction, and felt like some science fiction next.

Published: 2006 in Chinese, 2014 in English

Genre: science fiction

Length: 399 pages

Setting: China in the late 1960s and present day Continue reading

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Natural Born Alien by Will Swardstrom

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2017 in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: Omnibus No. 3

Genre: science fiction alien short story

Setting: the U.S. in the not-too-distant future

Summary: Robunthiquipalthinatchyyl Walters is an alien running for President of the United States. Since he was born in the United States (and has a FOI for the video of his birth to prove it), he is legally allowed to run, even if he isn’t a human. Obviously, Walters isn’t your typically candidate and he makes a couple of statements that seem likely to tank his bid to become President (like agreeing that a woman should have the right to an abortion and the right to kill any mate that doesn’t please her, or that health care is important because the human body is tastier when they are healthy). However, his supporters just explain away these faux pas and continue to maintain Walters is the best candidate for the job.

Final thoughts: At first I was wondering if the parallels to Donald Trump and his bid for President were intentional or not. When I got to the part about building a wall around the whole world and making the Zitorians trying to gain a foothold in this country pay for it, I knew it totally intentional. Swardstrom just took Trump and turned him to 11 to create his alien candidate. Personally, it takes a lot of imagination to make someone even crazier than Trump and still be believable, but Swarstrom manages it. For example, Walters actually eats his opponents who cause too many problems instead of just belittling them on Twitter. The description of how Walters can run for President when he isn’t even human was an interesting one. Overall, a story for the political times. I’m not sure it will age well, but it’s amusing for now.

Title comes from: It describes how Walters gained citizenship within the U.S., with alien referring to being from a different world, not just a different country.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Genellan: Planetfall by Scott Gier

I wanted a science fiction book to read off my Kindle while I waited for library books to come in. This one sounded reasonable and was the first in a series.

Published: 2005

Genre: science fiction

Length: 543 pages

Setting: an earth-like exoplanet called Genellan and surrounding space Continue reading

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One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

I saw a post about graphic novels, and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales were mentioned. Sadly, our library system doesn’t have any of that series, but it did have this book. We highly enjoyed Rapunzel’s Revenge, and thought this would be worth checking out.

Published: 2017

Genre: science fiction graphic novel

Length: 127 pages

Setting: Earth, far future Continue reading

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Dirt Moon by Dan Koboldt

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Hyperpowers (Third Flatiron Anthologies Book 16)

Genre: military scifi short story

Setting: some random moon, far future

Summary: Our narrator is leading a landing mission on a moon, securing it for future uses. His team starts getting taken out so he calls in backup. Unfortunately, it’s underground worms attacking his troops and his backup is too far away. He gets a couple of people off the moon, but most die.

Final thoughts: There’s nothing fancy about this story. It’s a straight, shoot-’em-up, who’s going to die, who’s going to make it story. I’m not sure I’ve read anything in this niche genre so short before, but you don’t need much background to set up the plot, so it worked. Just don’t expect deep thoughts.

Title comes from: The setting. The narrator calls the location they’ve been dropped as a dirt-moon.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

I picked a random book off my Kindle to read while I was waiting for some holds to come in from the library. This book is the first in the Spin trilogy that Tor provided free as part of their e-book club.

Published: 2005

Genre: science fiction

Length: 458 pages

Setting: present-day (kind of) Earth Continue reading

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