Memorial Weekend Mostly-Fiction Reading
My goodness, it's been a while since we put something on the site. Obviously, we've been busy little beavers out here in bloggy land.
So, to keep you all busy, here's a lot of great fiction that's been published recently for you to read for free!
The absolute best short story I've read recently is Karen Joy Fowler's "Younger Women", which is as cunning a send-up of Twilight as you're likely to find, but also a great work in its own right.
Tor.com has continued to provide some of the best short fiction on the web. One of the more memorable stories is "The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model" by Charlie Jane Anders which is takes the old trope of humans being seeded on Earth by aliens and turns it on its head in a way that's endlessly amusing.
This past Wednesday they published another story I enjoyed a lot, "Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order" by Damien Broderick, which is a time travel story that is less about the traveling through time and more about the toll it takes on the traveller (and, it should be noted, has a sweet ass title).
Fantasy Magazine published "Choose Your Own Adventure" by Kat Howard which takes the concept of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story and plays with its inherent absurdities; the limitation of choices, the temptation to turn back and try a different path, the sense that the story is still guiding your actions rather despite the form's promise of interactivity.
M. John Harrison is kind of a writer's writer; he's stunningly good but doesn't seem to write with the kind of popular hooks that would turn him into a major (financial) success, and his identification with the SF ghetto probably doesn't help him get any recognition from the literati for his elegant prose, impeccable character insight and Borgesian explorations of the fantastic. Here is a short-short he wrote called "The Walls", apparently written originally to be read on stage, which encapsulates in brief form what it is that makes Harrison so good.
Relatedly, here's a paragraph from his novel Nova Swing which I transcribed on my writing blog after it took my breath away.
And now, Non-Fiction Time!
I've been saying for a while that publisher's claims that it costs as much to make an ebook as to make a print book are bullshit, and that if they want to prove it to us they should show us the numbers already. (Which they won't.) Blog Brad's Reader caught out a Simon and Shuster CEO saying that ebooks are profitable because the costs are so low. (via Teleread)
Wet Asphalt favorite Matt Cheney reviews Evaporating Genres by Gary K. Wolfe on Strange Horizons and talks about the difference between reviews and criticism w/r/t one of the leading
critics reviewers of SF.
And finally, Robert Shawn talks about why he is a socialist, in one of the best defenses of the ideology you're likely to find and one that makes the more Libertarian tendencies in America look bankrupt and shallow.
And if all that STILL isn't enough for you, Richard and Wendy Pini have put EVERY ISSUE (over 6,500 pages) of their seminal fantasy comic book Elfquest online FOR FREE.
Enjoy and have a happy Memorial Day!