Tag Archives: Event Horizon 2017

A Man Most Imperiled by Dan Malakin

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

Genre: science fiction

Setting: it felt like England, near future

Summary: Zircon, who is a modified clone of his father, has been told his land was acquired by WTP Developments and he must move off in two days. He decides to fight the decision, and visits WTP Developments to express his displeasure. He immediately falls in love with the receptionist, Maria, and has no luck changing the decision over his land. He goes home and creates several pieces of technology to protect his property. Those technologies come into play as WPT Developments tries to destroy his house, with him in it.

Final thoughts: This one disappointed me, mainly because of the interaction between Zircon and the receptionist. Zircon lived this perfect life off by himself out on the heath, and everything changes the moment he looks at Maria – she is a vision of loveliness. Seriously? I’m not sure I believe in love at first sight, and the author certainly didn’t sell me on it here. Zircon is a bit of a mad scientist, which was the only interesting part of the story.

Title comes from: Zircon was the man most imperiled because WTP Developments was trying to tear down his house and he refused to leave.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Twiceborn by C. L. Kagmi

Now that I’ve finally written up all of my 2017 books, I’m back to my usual schedule. I’ll get a post about my 2018 reading goals up soon, but Monday means short fiction. I’m still working my way through Event Horizon 2017, so this is the next short story in the collection highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: September, 2016 in Compelling Science Fiction Issue 2

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the exoplanet Bharata, far future Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Mama Mmiri by Walter Dinjos

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 Beneath Ceaseless Skies (You can read it for free at that link, or listen to it here)

Genre: fantasy

Setting: Near a river is what is probably Nigeria (based on Dinjos’ history)

Summary: The oyibo (white men) are constructing a bridge across the Ofia River. To keep mama mmiri, the river goddess, placated, they sacrifice a twin to the river every month, with the help of the narrator’s Baba Tunde. Udo, our narrator’s twin, has been sacrificed and the narrator knows he’s next. He heads to the river in the hopes of seeing the ghost of Udo, but only sees mama mmiri. He promises her Baba Tunde’s body, but he is still sacrificed.

Final thoughts: Living next to the Ofia River would get expensive, considering the sacrifices that had to be offered every month to appease her spirit. And why did she like twins so much? Our narrator is devastated when his twin dies, and is happy to join back up with him in the river.

Title comes from: The name of the river goddess

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

In the Absence of Instructions to the Contrary by Frank Wu

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: November 2016 in Analog (you can read it for free at the link provided)

Genre: apocalyptic science fiction

Length: 14 pages

Setting: a remote island miles off the coast of Hawaii, present day into the future

Summary: Our narrator, Karl 3478, is an AI submersible that is designed to observe and collect marine life. He also is in love with Adeline, the professor that runs his research program, and parses her emails to him to the utmost, looking for her love in return. He also researches her every whim, including octopuses near his island. After several years of research, he loses contact with Adeline and only realizes there was a global catastrophe after heading back to Hawaii. He decides to change his programming slightly and help the octopuses thrive in the sea, now that humanity is gone.

Final thoughts: I was impressed with this story in several ways. First off, I was impressed with the amount of biological knowledge included in the story. I have a background in marine biology, and all the species and descriptions woven into the story checked out in my head. Also, the story kept morphing into something else. It started out as an AI/human love story (and Karl’s reading innuendo into Adeline’s emails was highly amusing). Then, it became an apocalyptic story as Karl couldn’t contact anyone and found various radioactive sites in the ocean. Then, at the very end, we see a choice to uplift the octopus species he’d been observing, and taking a more active role in the ocean. Each of these changes were organic and logical, and added depth to the story.

Title comes from: Since Karl was an AI (based on the personality of one of Adeline’s grad students), it was a rationale he used for himself in making decisions.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book review

Survival Instincts by Carolyn Charron

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 Dystopia Utopia Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy)

Genre: science fiction short story

Length: 10 pages

Setting: a future Earth

Summary: Yoncy is in the competition to become a Mother, a member of the Global Council and, even better, have a seat on the next colony ship with her child. To guarantee she wins, she is more than willing to cheat and sabotage other teams efforts to make a baby. In the end, her partner kills her because of her actions in the competition.

Final thoughts: An interesting twist on the Last One Standing competitions that I don’t think I’ve seen before. The person best able to design a baby (DNA manipulation and then run the artificial womb correctly) and then win over the voting public is able to actually have that child be born. Of course, you’re playing with potential babies here, since if you don’t win, your baby doesn’t get brought to term, but there’s so many people in the world anyways – who wants more. Yoncy just wants the power that comes with being a Mother, and a chance to go on the colony ship and get away from her Mother, so much that she does everything possible to ensure she’s the only choice left. Too bad she didn’t prepare her partner for all the cheating and killing that would happen since he finally snapped and eliminated her.

Title comes from: My guess is it’s a play on survival of the fittest and the instinct for survival of your offspring that all come into play in a competition to create a baby.

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

A Fine Balance by Charlotte Ashley

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: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November-December 2016

Genre: fantasy

Setting: the split city of Onsen and Dushiq, in a medieval setting Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review