Thursday, 2 November 2017

100 Short Story Challenge: Stories 31 to 40

If you've been following me on twitter and/or my #ReadShortStories tweeting, you might have noticed that I have a tendency to do these things in bursts. I am the kind of person who finds it much harder to do something every single day — even if it's something small — than to do more of it in a catch-up (or work ahead) lump.

Anyway, here are stories 31 to 40. A mixed bag from a variety of sources. My favourite stories in this batch were "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer — highly recommended for fans of Murderbot and last batch's "Fandom for Robots" — "Foxfire, Foxfire" — a fantasy/mythology mecha war story — and "God Product" and "An Abundance of Fish" — both excellent flash stories.


  1. Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer — Another delightful robot story, this time one who only wants cat pictures and, to a lesser extent, to help people. I can see why it won the Hugo and Locus Awards and got shortlisted for a Nebula. Source: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/kritzer_01_15/
  2. Application for the Delegation of First Contact: Questionnaire, Part B by Kathrin Köhler — A mildly amusing construct which raises some very valid points but did not really grip me due to the non-standard form of the story. Source: http://thebooksmugglers.com/2015/05/application-for-the-delegation-of-first-contact-questionnaire-part-b-by-kathrin-kohler.html
  3. The Future of Hunger in the Age of Programmable Matter by Sam J. Miller — An interesting story. It took me a little while to get into because the opening was hard to follow in between the narrator’s interjections, but I’m glad I pushed through because it went to a lot of unexpected places (I don’t want to spoil the plot though). It made me think a lot about the construction of stories and narratives, and how several different ideas can fit together. Source: https://www.tor.com/2017/10/18/the-future-of-hunger-in-the-age-of-programmable-matter/
  4. Foxfire, Foxfire by Yoon Ha Lee — A very enjoyable story set in an alternate reality Korea during a war fought with something like human-piloted mechs amid a supernatural backdrop. The main character is a gumiho (nine-tailed fox) who is close to eating enough humans to remain human. Her last kill does not turn out to be as straightforward as she planned. Source: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/foxfire-foxfire/
  5. The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor by Catherynne M Valente — Another very short story is the “nevertheless, she persisted” series on tor.com. It didn’t especially do it for me and seemed a bit too much of a shaggy dog story (I can see how that was by design, but meh). Source: https://www.tor.com/2017/03/08/the-ordinary-woman-and-the-unquiet-emperor-catherynne-valente/
  6. God Product by Alyssa Wong — Excellent, arresting flash, the best so far in Tor.com's “nevertheless, she persisted” series. Source: https://www.tor.com/2017/03/08/god-product-alyssa-wong/
  7. An Abundance of Fish by S. Qiouyi Lu — which was lovely and heartbreaking and contained fish. A story of love and loss. Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/an-abundance-of-fish/
  8. Astronaut by Maria Dahvana Headley — which was very short and very touching and realer than I initially realised. Another in Tor.com's “nevertheless, she persisted” series. Source: https://www.tor.com/2017/03/08/astronaut-maria-dahvana-headley/
  9. Anabasis by Amal El-Mohtar — was well-written but didn’t really do it for me. Another in Tor.com's “nevertheless, she persisted” series. Source: https://www.tor.com/2017/03/08/anabasis-amal-el-mohtar/
  10. Heart of Straw by Seanan McGuire — a Halloween story about trick of treating and the magic of the night. It was both less and more creepy than I expected, but very heartfelt, either way. Source: Seanan McGuire's Patreon.


I really should read more stories from the paper anthologies on my shelves (since that was part of my original aim), but reading electronically is so much easier...


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