Tag Archives: singing

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Wandering Scientist described as a cross between Douglas Adams and Eurovision so I was in, especially when I found it to listen to on Hoopla.

Published: 2018

Genre: science fiction

Length: 352 pages

Setting: near future Earth and beyond

Summary: Short version: Humans join the rest of the galaxy in competing in the Metagalactic Grand Prix Continue reading

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Hyrmnal by Jonathan Laidlow

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: August, 2016 in Daily Science Fiction (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: science fiction

Setting: another planet, far future

Summary: Coryde is a snail player stuck in the outer planet circuit. After her performance, she’s approached by a guy who asks her out for a drink. She agrees, just to be close to someone. Turns out, he’s part of the Mollusc Liberation Front and he’s letting her snail free so she can no longer her it.

Final thoughts: An interesting concept, playing the snail. Laidlow explains the process, which involves paralyzing snail venom and singing into the mouth of the snail so its body and shell can enhance the sound. Sounds kind of gross, and I can see why a liberation society would develop. Of course, just letting a snail go in a random wild area will likely lead to its death, but it won’t be hurt by people anymore. Just eaten by the local predator or dried to a crisp in the baking sun. People on a mission don’t think about reality like that, though.

Title comes from: Snails are hermaphroditic and the guy uses the pronoun “hyrm” for the snail. Since there’s singing involved, Laidlow made a play on hyrm and hymnal for the title


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