Friday, 20 April 2018

#ReadShortStories (65 to 70)

It's been slower short story reading of late, for me, since I've gotten myself hooked on a few novels. This batch, among other things, finishes off my Hugo short story reading. I will do a separate post soon focussing on just that shortlist and talking about how I would vote. I also started reading the novella anthology The Underwater Ballroom Society and it's first fairytale rock opera rock star and fairyland story.


Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde — Not a terrible story but not to my taste. (I say this in light of it’s Hugo nomination.) It had an interesting vibe and the second person narration worked well but I didn’t think the end came with sufficient pay-off (for a Hugo nomination...). Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/clearly-lettered-mostly-steady-hand/

Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse — An eerie story that starts out as one type of science fiction, exploring (Native American) race through a commercialised lens... then turns into a different sort of horrific story. I enjoyed it and didn’t see the second half coming from the vantage point of the first half. Certainly an interesting read and I can see why it made the Hugo shortlist. Source: https://www.apex-magazine.com/welcome-to-your-authentic-indian-experience/

The Queen of Life by Ysabeau S Wilce — A novella about rockstars and fairyland, death and fame. I found the opening a little too slow, as it took a while to set the scene and establish sufficient backstory so that what felt like the “real” story could start. When that came, it was an interesting journey into fairyland filled with deception, glamour and a corgi steed (sort of). I enjoyed the second half of it more than the first. Source: The Underwater Ballroom Society edited by Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent

Sun, Moon, Dust by Ursula Vernon — A cute story about a man who inherits a magic sword from his warrior grandmother, inhabited by spirits that can train him to fight. But all he wants to do is farm potatoes. I enjoyed the subversion of the magic sword trope, the goat and the tentative queer love story. Source: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/sun-moon-dust/

Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim — A lovely story about mechanical toy people who live out their lives based on the number of “turns” they get. A metaphor for energy and disability/chronic illness that, I suppose, makes more sense than spoon theory — and in fact for that very reason I’d actually heard of this story before I got to reading it. The main character has more turns than average and the story follows her life from childhood through adulthood, partnering up, and having a child. And focuses on how many turns the people around her have or don’t have. Source: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/carnival-nine/

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