Tag Archives: Event Horizon 2017

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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Water, Birch and Blood by Sarah Norja

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: July 2016 in Strange Horizons (you can either read or listen to the story for free at that website)

Genre: magical realism

Setting: Norway

Summary: Our narrator, Elna, is taking her wife and son to her family cabin on the side of a lake. While there, she is reminded of the summer spent there when she was 11. Everyone remembers her having a fever for several days, but in reality she traveled through the lake to the bear-queen’s world to save it from the troll-king. Her memories were altered, but it all comes back.

Final thoughts: A nothing special story. I liked the setting, mainly because it wasn’t American, but it wasn’t critical to the storyline. Elna does have to make the choice to go back to the bear-queen’s magical world or stay in her own and find the bits of magic there. In the end, she makes the responsible choice and stays with her family, even though she’s tempted by her memories.

Title comes from: Water, birch, and blood were the ingredients needed to open a gateway to get to the bear-queen’s world.

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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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To Touch the Sun Before It Fades by Aimee Ogden

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 Persistent Visions

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Pluto, in the near future

Summary: Mariam, our narrator, is on a five-year scientific mission to Pluto. She’s left behind her husband and wife, who have had a child in her absence. She’s worried the child won’t consider her part of the family when she comes back, but doesn’t know how to put it all in words.

Final thoughts: This is the same problem that sailors used to have. They would go off on a voyage, come back, and their children wouldn’t know them. In this case, the sailor happens to be on Pluto, but it’s not a new problem she’s having. It does end on a hopeful note, with Mariam sitting down to work on a message she’ll send to her family back home.

Title comes from: The station the crew is on circles behind Pluto for six days. The night cycle is about to begin, and Mariam is reflecting on how easy it is to cover the Sun as you look at it.

 

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Tower of the Rosewater Goblet by Nin Harris

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: January 2016 in Strange Horizons (you can also listen to the story at that link)

Genre: fantasy

Setting: some world other than Earth Continue reading

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The Call of Chewing Gum by Russell Reed

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: July, 2016 in Mothership Zeta: Issue 4

Genre: fantasy

Setting: Darienburg, Connecticut, present day Continue reading

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Rubbing is Racing by Charles Payseur

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: June, 2015 in Lightspeed Magazine

Genre: science fiction

Setting: a doomed planet, some time in the future Continue reading

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