Tag Archives: short stories

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!

 

Advertisements

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

The Wind at His Back by Jason Kimble

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 Clockwork Phoenix 5

Genre: weird Western

Length: 13 pages

Setting: the American southwest, during pioneer times
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

A Bird, A Broad, and a Mess of Kyodatsu by Stephen Lickman

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, 2017 in Mothership Zeta: Issue 2

Genre: alternate history fantasy

Setting: Japan, post-WWII

Summary: Our narrator is a Tengu, a mythical Japanese bird soldier. Japan has been conquered, so he’s trying to make a living as a detective. Really, his goal is to make enough money to drink himself into oblivion. But, he’s been hired by a murder of jungle crows to recover a Buddha that was stolen from Crow Castle at the end of the war. He’s slipping into kyodatsu – a general state of depression because Japan lost that can be seen in people across multiple every aspect of Japanese society. However, the crows shame him into trying to recover the Buddha.

Final thoughts: Interesting because of the setting and new mythology. Our narrator was transformed into a Tengu to work off a debt to karma. He’s not doing a very good job at it at the beginning of the story. He’s slipping into despair, like so many people around him. He won’t even fly anymore – the skies are for the victors. But, he decides to do something instead and recover the Buddha and even takes to the sky to do so. We are left hanging – the thief has taken a ship to America, but he’s going to chase her. He’s got a purpose again in life.

Title comes from: The bird is our narrator – a crow-like creature; the broad is the thief of the Buddha; the kyodatsu is the state of mind of everyone around our narrator.

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

Tenth of December by George Suanders

A friend gave me a copy of this book to read. I don’t usually read short story collections, but he seemed so passionate about the author and the stories that I was willing to try it. Since it is a short story collection, I’ll summarize each story and then give my overall impressions.

Published: 2013

Genre: fiction short stories, with occasional science fictional elements

Length: 251 pages

Font: Sabon

Setting: various present day settings in the U.S. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Black Site by Michael Patrick Hicks

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 CLONES: The Anthology

Genre: science fiction, with a touch of Chthulu

Length: 34 pages

Setting: an asteroid mining base, near future Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Penelope Qingdom by Aidan Moher

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: December, 2016 in Mothership Zeta

Genre: fantasy

Setting: Prince George, Canada, 1980s

Summary: Penelope Qing and her family move in next door to Ivan and his moms. They’re the same age, 11, and meet when Ivan’s moms introduce themselves. Penelope takes Ivan down into her basement to show him the Penelope Kingdom – a fantastical medieval world made of various dolls, action figures, household items, and buildings. The amazing thing is it comes to life in Penelope’s presence. We even get excerpts from a history book from the kingdom sprinkled throughout the story. Ivan and Penelope play down there for years, although at the end of middle school he becomes more interested in kissing Penelope than playing. However, when Penelope’s family moves right before high school, he’s willing to set up a colony in his basement.

Final thoughts: This was a delightful story. Penelope and Ivan have an imaginary world they’ve put together in Penelope’s basement that is real, at least when Penelope is there. Luckily, they both enjoyed playing in the world, although Ivan started growing out of it before Penelope did. There was an impressive progress of time, since several years pass in the story. We get just enough detail to know time is passing, but not so much to make it boring. At the end, it looks like Ivan and Penelope will just be memories to each other. However, online gaming is just starting, so it’s possible they will connect in a MUD instead of just fading away.

Title comes from: Penelope was King of her fantasy world, so it was called Penelope’s Kingdom. Her name was Penelope Qing (pronounced King), so Ivan made it a play on her name – Penelope’s Qingdom.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review