Tag Archives: short stories

Blood Bank by Tanya Huff

This was the last book in an omnibus collection of the Blood series that I bought.

Published: 1996

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 221 pages

Setting: various times and locations in Henry’s life Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

A Human’s Life by George Nikolopoulos

This week promised to be the regular kind of busy instead of the crazy kind of busy, so I’m back to my usual blog posting schedule. As such, today’s post 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: September, 2016 in Galaxy’s Edge: Issue 22. It’s was also featured on an episode of StarShipSofa, if you prefer to listen to your short fiction as I do.

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the planet Pandaesia, far future

Summary: Short version: An alien’s guide to owning a human Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Solar Crossroads by Claire Davon

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: October 2016 in Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi

Genre: science fiction short story

Setting: near Earth, near future

Summary: In eight words: Pregnant wife leaves sick husband for new world Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Ghosts, Bigfoot, and Free Lunches by Dan Stout

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. I’m also trying something new. One of the blogs I follow started a seven word summary of the books she’s reading. I thought it might be fun to add

Published: August, 2016 in Crime & Mystery Short Stories

Genre: paranormal crime short story

Length: 4 pages

Setting: an apartment room, present day

Summary: In seven words or less: The goldfish did it. Honest.

The longer version: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Her Hips Do Lie by Maura Yzmore

Things have been so crazy around here, I completely forgot I usually post a review of short fiction on Mondays. I did read a piece of short fiction, though, so I’m going to review it today. This was brought to my attention by Annorlunda Books who is also attempting to read at least one piece of short fiction a week. This was her pick from last week. I was tempted to read it because of the title. Go ahead and follow the link – it’s extra short so it won’t take you too long to read it.

Published: March, 2018 on Jellyfish Review (read it online for free at that link)

Genre: short fiction

Setting: a generic location, present day

Summary: Our narrator is Jen. She was an active child, but then puberty hit and her hips changed. Those wide hips drew lots of male attention and made it difficult to be as active. She let herself sink into a soft shell of herself and become that quiet mom who never speaks up. One day she had enough. One day, she decided she’d had enough and started walking. From walking, she moved into kickboxing. Now, she may still look soft on the outside, but a look in her eyes will let you know that she will no longer be pushed around.

Final thoughts: I found this to be a powerful and moving story. Jen, like so many girls, feels betrayed by her body. For a while, she accepts those changes and stops being active. Eventually, though, she’s tired of being tired and sore all the time and she starts moving again. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s worth it and her body becomes stronger. As her body becomes stronger, she takes a stronger stance in her life. People are no longer able to walk all over her, regardless of how soft she looks. A good message to take to heart – you can be more than your appearance. There’s no fat shaming in this story. In fact, all indications are that Jen still has lots of curves even after she starts to exercise. Instead, the focus is on being able to do the activities and not feel pain that is important.

Title comes from: It’s a play on the phrase “These lips do lie” (or something like that). In this case, Jen’s hips say she’s a soft, gentle mom that you can push around. But they are a lie, because she will no longer be pushed around.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

The Peralta Protocol by Daniel Arthur Smith

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: March 2016 in The Doomsday Chronicles

Genre: apocalyptic science fiction

Setting: a generic city, near future

Summary: The Earth has become so contaminated with nanoparticles that human reproduction has ceased. Scientists have come up with a stronger, synthetic womb and the first child carried to term in ten years is about to be born. Just before the birthing process begins, the hospital is attacked and the baby is stolen. The parents go with the military officer in charge of recovering the baby before it’s oxygen run out. They think she’s been taken by a religious group who thinks she is the returning Messiah. Turns out that she was taken by Syns, synthetic humanoids created to replace the aging human workforce. The Syns hacked the protocol to create a Syn baby, capable of reproduction.

Final thoughts: This story took a surprising turn. It’s definitely apocalyptic fiction. Humanity has polluted Earth to the point that we can’t even reproduce any more. There’s a timeline ticking to reverse the problem, and perhaps a synthetic womb is the way to go. You don’t even realize the baby that’s being born isn’t carried by Leana until about a third of the way through the story. The author keeps the tension of the impending birth so strong, I thought for sure Leana was pregnant. When the baby was kidnapped, the flavor of the story changed. It was no longer about the crazy religious people vs. scientists and should humanity stop having babies and turned into an action story. Then, it changed again when we discovered who took the baby. Turns out, it was a story about robots taking over the world. It did find it interesting that the Syns were all blond-haired and blue-eyed. Why that particular choice for complexion? Maybe so the blue eyes can glow in the darkness and creep everyone out.

Title comes from: The name of the scientist who developed the protocol to allow for the development of a baby in a synthetic womb.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review

Mobius by Christoph Weber

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: May, 2016 in Writers of the Future Vol 32

Genre: science fiction

Setting: a near future city on Earth

Summary: Liz is a detective with GeneCrime, looking for illegal gene-tweakers. She’s found a lab that seems a bit more sophisticated than usual. She’s attacked by what she thought was a corpse on a table within the lab. She wakes up four days later under the care of her father, a physician. Turns out, he’s figured out how to repair a person’s DNA to a pristine state, which can also return them from the dead. She has the last remaining sample of Mobius and must decide whether to destroy it, killing several people (including herself and her previously thought dead mother) because they won’t have access to Mobius, or allow the illegal virus to be used.

Final thoughts: Weber leaves the resolution of the story completely up in the air. He sets up a world where gene-tweaking is easy and just as often deadly as helpful. Liz is dead-set against all gene-tweakers, since that was how her mother was killed. Come to find out, it’s her father’s lab she’s raiding. He’s cured death with his special, gene-tweaked virus – isn’t it awesome! Liz isn’t convinced. So, he lays on the guilt. If you destroy the sample, you’ll kill his colleague. Not enough? You’ll kill yourself, since you’re infected with the same lethal virus he’s got. Not enough? You’ll kill your mother, that you didn’t realize I’d raised from the dead. And then the reader is left to wonder if that’s enough or she’ll just destroy it. If she wipes out the sample of Mobius, her father’s just going to create more, perhaps not in enough time to save the three people who’s lives are on the line, but he’s still got all his research.

Title comes from: Liz’s father named his virus Mobius, after the Mobius strip and the possibility of living forever.

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review