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Old 5th February 2011, 02:20 AM   #166 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Radiant Green Star - Lucius Shepard

Not a heck of a lot of SF in this novella but a good story just the same. Set in "Viet Nam" sometime in the 21st century a circus performer comes of age by way of some family secrets and a new girlfriend.
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Old 6th February 2011, 01:00 PM   #167 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Last night I read Richard Cowper's The Web of the Magi, the title story in his 1980 volume of four long shorts. This story was strange, beguiling, odd - in the tradition of Lost Horizon and H Rider Haggard.

A 19th century British army engineer mapping terrain for a system of telegraph poles across Persia finds a hidden valley populated by a handful of beautiful Amazons... he goes through the usual set-pieces of capture, mating and sacrifice, but the end is truly unique and not at all satisfasfactory, which is probably for the best.

Recommended.
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Old 6th February 2011, 01:14 PM   #168 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

I read Sword Woman the first Dark Agnes historical fiction story by Robert E Howard. I was pleasantly surprised by the story. An origin story by REH is something different.

Interesting how the story wasnt published in his life time in the pulps. The story crushes the view some fans,non-fans have that he was a bit too much female characters that was mostly eye candy. Sword Woman story if it was read from feministic literary anlysis POV like we do often in Lit class it would be hailed.

A young peasant girl fighting to flee the way of life that would break her body,spirit to become a free woman,dreaming of glory. No wonder it didnt sell to editors in historical pulps that must have been male hero dominated. I think it was top level story,not weaker than most of the historical stories with characters.
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Old 6th February 2011, 04:33 PM   #169 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

I'm sure it's been commented on here already, but I just finished reading Vonnegut's 2BR02B (pronounced To Be Or Naught To Be) and thought it was a very good story. The concept is that in the future all illness and even old age has been cured, so people only die when there is an accident or when they tire of living. But of course, with limited deaths there must be strict population controls, so no new life can be created unless someone is willing to give up their life. Great read very short, Vonnegut never fails to amaze.
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Old 7th February 2011, 05:46 PM   #170 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance - Paul Park

I'd heard this was one of the better novellas of 2010 and, after reading it, I agree. Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance is a story about the author's family going back hundreds of years that blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction, reality and dreams. It's a non-standard mode of storytelling mainly about Park's ("Parke" in the story) ancestors, many of whom were published authors themselves, and only in the last few pages is the story connected. A dense and original story worthy of reading over again.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 02:10 AM   #171 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

In the Jan./Feb. issue of Analog there's novella called The First Day of Eternity by Domingo Santos that is really good. The story is about a generational starship of Jews searching for a new home planet. A complex A.I. called "Diaspora" runs the massive ship making decisions for the thousands of people on board. When a suitable planet is found after more than 700 years travel time things really get interesting as people are forced to overcome their conditioned agoraphobia and alien life is found. The creatures develop a relationship with a particular segment of the colonists and play a critical role in their settling of the planet. My favorite short story this year so far.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 08:50 AM   #172 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Read some great short stories lately.

"Real People" by Oliver Onions was one of the better ones in the collection I'm reading about a writer who's characters took over the book he was writing and then began to intrude upon his life as well...

"Life with R. H. Macy" by Shirley Jackson was a hillarious story about a woman's brief and baffling employment in a monolithic department store.
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Old 28th February 2011, 12:25 PM   #173 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

The Strange Crime of John Boulnois (Penguin Mini Modern Classics) by G. K Chesterton

A book with two short stories, the story in the title and The Blue Cross.

I had no idea what kind of writer Chesterton was except knowing vaguely a he wrote an early detective series about a priest,that his name had a classic rep. I wanted to read early 1900s mystery stories, like i want to read Dorothy L. Sayers.

The first story i ever read of G.K Chesterton was just fabulous! It had such wit,awesome different humor,quality characters,fine prose,language. A stronger literary ability than expected.
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Old 8th April 2011, 12:01 PM   #174 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

I read a great story in the Philip K Dick collection I am reading: "Holy Quarrel".

Imagine if the military built a super computer to analyise all the facts it could around the world and evaluate potential threats and launch pre-emptive strikes against them? Would we just trust it to be correct in it's analysis? How could we check it?
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Old 8th April 2011, 11:38 PM   #175 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

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Originally Posted by Fried Egg View Post
I read a great story in the Philip K Dick collection I am reading: "Holy Quarrel".

Imagine if the military built a super computer to analyise all the facts it could around the world and evaluate potential threats and launch pre-emptive strikes against them? Would we just trust it to be correct in it's analysis? How could we check it?
Another PKD story that sounds like Terminator films. Like Second Variety. How much do they read his short stories in Hollywood

Interesting story sounds very good. Your PKD short story collection is the old series of collections ? Not the new 40 bucks Hardcovers 5,6 volumes of complete stories ?
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Old 9th April 2011, 12:20 AM   #176 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

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I missed that issue, but I see he does have another in the Jan./Feb. issue though.
Finally got around to reading this McMullen story - Enigma - rather good, and features a Big Dumb Object, in the tradition of Ringworld and Orbitsville. Like a lot of shorts these days, there were so many ideas in there it could have been spun out to novella length and been all the better for it.
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Old 9th April 2011, 01:06 AM   #177 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Excellent. I'll probably read that soon then. Couple other decent ones from Analog - Hanging By A Thread by Lee Goodloe and The Day The Music Died by H.G. Stratmann. The first is about an alien waterworld with a caustic ocean and the second is about a terrorist attack done by way of an "earworm" which is a subconscious audio hook not unlike when you have a song stuck in your head on repeat. Both in May '10 issue.

Last edited by jojajihisc; 9th April 2011 at 01:08 AM. Reason: title corrected
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Old 9th April 2011, 10:19 AM   #178 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

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Interesting story sounds very good. Your PKD short story collection is the old series of collections ? Not the new 40 bucks Hardcovers 5,6 volumes of complete stories ?
Softcover. I have no plans to collect the hard cover versions...
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Old 12th April 2011, 03:24 PM   #179 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Wow, that was a very contraversial story I just read by Philip K Dick called "The Pre-Persons". It was basically Dick airing his strong anti-abortion views. Very didactic, one sided arguments mascerading as a story. He says in the notes to that story that he evoked the ire of Joanna Russ (among others) with that story and, I have to say, I'm not suprised. Although I don't agree with Dick's views on this subject, I don't mind writers presenting their views in the stories they write but that was just too unambiguous and clear cut for my tastes. I much prefer it if the author can at least try to explore different points of view and make their points more ambiguously.

Ultimately, it just didn't stand up as story in it's own right, which it should do if he presents his arguments in such a way. Furthermore, his was reasoning from a flawed premise. His point was that the legal limit up to when you can legally abort a fetus is essentially arbitary and then by reductio ad absurdum he envisaged a society in which parents can legally decide to abort a child up to the age of 12 years old. But his claim that the limit was arbitary rested on his belief (repeatedly asserted in the story) that this was the point when a child/fetus was was judged to have obtained a soul. I've never heard pro-choice advocates rest their arguments on this notion. Hence it was a straw man.

Anyway, thought provoking as always...
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Old 12th April 2011, 07:48 PM   #180 (permalink)
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Re: The Short Story Thread

Haven't gotten to that one yet - I have the five collections but have only read the first three, much of what's in #4, and only two or three from #5.

I'm currently in a giant novel but I just read a couple of Leiber collections briefly discussed in the March reading thread. I'll probably post such things here from now on.
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