Tag Archives: science fiction

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

This is the sixth book in the Old Man’s War series that I’m trying to finish up this year.

Published: 2015

Genre: military science fiction

Length: 380 pages

Setting: various location in the Galaxy, far future, soon after the events of The Human Division Continue reading

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Another Word for World by Ann Leckie

Sorry I didn’t get a weekend post up. Miss Adventure and I went to a contra dance Saturday night and then we had a soccer tournament for Mr. Curiosity most of Sunday. Today, I have the last story in theĀ Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft anthology (still free for the Kindle!) by Ann Leckie. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this story since I loved her Imperial Radch trilogy.

Published: 2015

Genre: science fiction

Setting: an exoplanet, far future Continue reading

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Sparg by Brian Trent

Art by Melissa Mead

This is the next story included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology.

Published: August, 2013 in Daily Science Fiction

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Mars, near future

Summary: Sparg, which we slowly learn is a pet octopus (or something like that) on Mars, is going through the motions of creating breakfast to bring its owners back. It doesn’t like being alone, and it desperately hopes its actions will return things to the way they were. Unfortunately, we learn the family left suddenly because of an attack on Mars and isn’t likely to return any time soon.

Final thoughts: An interesting viewpoint for a basic story. You start our trying to figure out why the narrator is having such a hard time making pancakes. Through flashbacks, we slowly piece together the setting and why the creature is making breakfast. Ultimately, it’s quite a sad story – Sparg was left behind, with no knowledge of why the family left or when it will come back, but it really hopes they do come back. But the reader knows the family won’t be coming back, and Sparg is left with its OCD, trying to recreate just the right conditions to bring them back.

Title comes from: The name of the pet who was our narrator for the story.

 

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A Cop’s Eye by Blue Delliquanti & Michele Rosenthal

This is the next story in the Future Visions anthology, by someone I’ve never even heard of. Turns out the two authors are known for their comics and illustrations, which explains my lack of knowledge.

Published: 2015

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Minneapolis in the winter, near future Continue reading

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Riding With the Duke by Jack McDevitt

This is the next story in the Future Visions anthology, and one of the few stories by an author I’ve not read before. He’s known for his big alien artifact-filled stories.

Published: 2015

Genre: science fiction

Setting: western Tennessee (the characters mention going to Pigeon Forge for dinner), near future
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The Human Division by John Scalzi

This is the fifth book in the Old Man’s War series (which apparently I’ve only posted a review of the first book in the series – I’ll get to those other ones one of these days). It’s been out a few years now and I just never got around to it. I’m making an effort to finish those series this year.

Published: 2013

Genre: space opera science fiction

Length: 431 pages

Setting: various points in the Universe, soon after the events in The Last Colony Continue reading

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Short Stories by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Monday’s short fiction is from the 2014 Campbellian Anthology, as I slowly make my way through the alphabet.

The Wanderers

Published: February 2013 in Clarkesworld

Genre: science fiction

Length: 8 pages

Setting: a future Earth

Summary: Aliens come to Earth after watching our entertainment. They know we’ll appreciate their ability to dominate and torture, based on all the movies they’ve watched. We’re doing a great job of hiding from them (as piles of ash that only one of the aliens realizes used to be people), but that just means Earth was the perfect place for them to come. They needed a challenge, after all, and their own subjects were boring and died without trying to fight back.

Final thoughts: This one was creepy. We’ve got aliens that think humanity likes torture and violence and horror, since that’s what our entertainment was all about. Of course, be careful around the cars. They must be weapons since they’re always exploding when they crash, which doesn’t match the physics of what should happen. The aliens kept making reference to classic movies that fit the situation (“…more like The Road or I Am Legend, only not like those at all because there was not even one of you left and no monsters in the shadows”). Turns out we killed all of humanity before the aliens could come and do it for us, and the aliens don’t realize it yet.

Title comes from: the aliens were the wanderers, looking for a good planet to inhabit and dominate

The Siren

Published: April 2013 in Strange Horizons; there’s also a podcast of the story

Genre: fantasy

Length: 12 pages

Setting: it felt like suburban California, present day

Summary: Mina shows up one day at Jen’s house. Her mom met her in Greece and invited her home. There’s something odd about her, starting with the bones poking through at her shoulder blades and continuing with the song she sings whenever she’s near the water. Turns out she’s a siren and, although not actively trying to harm Jen and her mother, her song drives them to nearly drowning. Jen decides to help Mina by crafting new wings for her, which sends her to a career of sculpting.

Final thoughts: While not as creepy as the previous story, this one was still quite depressing. None of the characters were particularly happy with their lives. Jen seemed to help the most – the wings she made for Mina did improve her life, and eventually her mom got over her dad’s death. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as The Wanderers.

Title comes from: Mina was a siren.

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