Friday, 12 January 2018

Some short stories to start off the year


On the back of my victorious short story reading challenge in late 2017, I have gotten into the habit of reading short stories.

I also have a great way of managing the stray short story reading: Pocket. It's a "read later" article manager that I'm only using for short stories (I theoretically also use Instapaper for non-fiction articles, but rarely check it). Pocket has smartphone and iPad apps as well as the website and all of them sync your stories and your place. I also discovered a Chrome extension, Accelereader, which tags all the stories in Pocket with reading time (which you can even adjust to your actual reading speed) so you can get an idea of the time commitment before you start a story. Very handy (apart from the need to open Chrome to get those tags on newly added stories). It's also supported by my Kobo, which does time estimates without the chrome extension. Recommended if you're looking for a way to keep online short stories for later perusal.

Anyway, here are the first five stories I've read in 2018:

Velveteen vs the Flashback Sequence by Seanan McGuire — More of a chapter establishing character than a properly stand-alone story in its own right. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read.  Source: http://seananmcguire.com/velvs3.php  

Velveteen vs the Old Flame by Seanan McGuire — A less fun read that dredges up some unfortunate back story from Velma’s time as a junior superhero. As with the previous story in this sequence, it feels a bit more like a chapter than a self-contained short story. Source: http://seananmcguire.com/velvs4.php 

Velveteen vs the Junior Super Patriots West Coast Division by Seanan McGuire — The plot thickens as Velma, our retired superheroine, faces off against the new generation of her former child hero team. New characters with interesting back stories are introduced and Velma’s road trip comes to an end. Source: http://seananmcguire.com/velvs5.php 

I Won At NaSuHeMo! by Marissa Lingen — A fun, quite short story written as diary entries of someone pursuing National Super Hero Month — a quest to get super powers in the vein of nanowrimo. Source: http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/marissa-lingen/i-won-at-nasuhemo 

A Hundred and Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard — A story of a young mindship, her keeper and a dangerous storm. An interesting read. I particularly enjoyed seeing a relatively young mindship who still has close living relatives. I am enjoying the Xuya universe and will definitely be reading more stories. Source: http://uncannymagazine.com/article/hundred-seventy-storms/ 

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