Monday, 5 March 2018

#ReadShortStories (46 to 50)

Three stories from the same issue of Uncanny, this batch. After realising how many short stories I was enjoying from Uncanny, I thought I should support them and subscribe. (It's also possible to support them on Patreon, but a yearly ePub subscription isn't very expensive, so I went with that.) They have rather more stories per issue than I realised, so I'm not even halfway through issue 20 (Jan/Feb 2018) yet. Expect more in the near future.

My favourite story from this batch was hands down "Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse" by SB Divya and, in fact, prompted me to finally pick up her novella, Runtime. Keep an eye out for my review of that in a couple of days. Also, if you happen to know whether "Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse" and Runtime are set in the same future, please let me know! I'm not sure whether they are, but I feel like they definitely could be.


Praying to the God of Small Chances by L Chan — A flash piece about wanting a miracle cure for the protagonist’s father’s cancer and an encounter with a god of small chances. The idea was interesting, but there just wasn’t much to the story, even considering that it’s flash. Source: http://arsenika.ink/fiction/praying-to-the-god-of-small-chances/

She Still Loves the Dragon by Elizabeth Bear — A lovely story about a knight errant who set out to meet a dragon and do the one thing she had not done: stand naked in front of the dragon she loved. Written with strong references to songs and ballads, including the ballad this story would become. It was a very nice story but I didn’t love it as much as I felt like I should have (whatever that means). Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/still-loves-dragon/

Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse by SB Divya — This story was right along the lines of what we were after for Defying Doomsday: it featured a protagonist with disabilities and an apocalypse. Also queer relationships. The apocalypse itself was a bit unexpected — I didn’t realise at first that it was set in the (former) US — and centred around what seemed to be a fracturing of the country into police states and safe states. The setting was very extreme (violent and oppressive) and affecting, which contributed to making this an excellent story. Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/contingency-plans-apocalypse/

The Hydraulic Emperor by Arkady Martine — An interesting story about aliens, desire, obsession and sacrifice. I found it an interesting read that got into various characters’ psychology, not just the narrator’s. Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/the-hydraulic-emperor/

Four-Point Affective Calibration by Bogi Takács — A flash story about calibrating a psychology (?) experiment and what different emotions mean to the narrator. Also what aliens mean to the narrator. Source: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/four-point-affective-calibration/



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