SHORTS: Anderson, Osborne, Wilde, Pinsker

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. In this week's column, we review more of the current crop of 2019 Nebula nominees in the short story and novelette categories.

"A Strange Uncertain Light" by G.V. Anderson (2019, Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine). 2019 Nebula Award nominee (novelette).

Anne and Merritt have just been married, practically on impulse. Each of them has a problem: Merritt is a drunk, but Anne sees the ghosts of strangers at the moment of their death. As prosaic an activity as looking out a train window can give her a vision of a man caught between the rails and the wheels, “to be sliced through like brisket.” Neither of them has confessed to the other, though Merritt’s shortcomings have been unhappily obvious. Still, they are honeymooning at Rannings, in Yorkshire, a grand hotel, and Anne is happy.

Another... Read More

SHORTS: Gailey, Pinsker, Fox, Bruno

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Bill and Tadiana both weigh in on a few more of this year's Nebula nominees (and one other excellent short story that Tadiana thinks should have been nominated), and Tadiana comments on the 20Booksto50K Nebula controversy.

“STET” by Sarah Gailey (2018, free at Fireside magazine)

“STET” is in the form of a draft of a scholarly article by a woman named Anna, in which she and her editor exchange increasingly agitated (at least on Anna’s side) written comments about the article’s references and footnotes. “STET” begins with a section on “Autonomous Conscience and Automotive Casualty.” It sounds dry, and reading the paragraph of body text from this article do... Read More

SHORTS: Prasad, Wahls, Pinsker, Dick, Kressel

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Several 2017 Nebula short fiction nominees are reviewed in today's column.

A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (2017, free at Clarkesworld, $3.99 Kindle magazine issue). 2017 Nebula award nominee (novelette)

In this near-future SF novelette, 3-D printing has become so advanced that a “bioprinter” can mass-produce copies of food. In any criminal forgery case, the best forgeries are the ones that never get noticed, and Helena Li Yuanhui of Splendid Beef Enterprises, a one-woman business in Nanjing, China, is an expert at it. She keeps her business small and the quality of her gray market meat forger... Read More

SHORTS: Pinsker, Takács, Murray, Brazee

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week we begin focusing on the 2017 Nebula award nominees in the short fiction categories.

Wind Will Rove by Sarah Pinsker (2017, originally published in Asimov’s, Sept-Oct 2017 issue; free PDF available at the author’s website). 2017 Nebula nominee (novelette)

Rosie, the 55 year old narrator, is a history teacher on board a generation ship that has been voyaging through space for the better part of a hundred years, and will be traveling for many more years. She’s also an accomplished fiddler, part of a band of fiddlers, guitarists, mandolinists and banjo players that plays weekly at the OldTime gathering... Read More

SHORTS: de Bodard, Smith, Buckell, Steele, Pinsker, Barnett

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we wanted you to know about.

The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard (2013, free to read online or download on author’s website). 2013 Nebula award winner and 2014 Hugo award nominee (novelette)

In this 2013 Nebula award-winning story, set in the 22nd century, Aliette de Bodard weaves together two narratives that at first seem unconnected but in the end, of course, are. The first concerns a woman’s exploration of a derelict spaceship in a graveyard of spaceships in an isolated corner of space controlled by the Outsiders. Lan Nhen’s Vietnamese-descended people build Mind-ships, spaceships powered by ... Read More

SHORTS: Vernon, Pinsker, Leigh, Swanwick, Young

our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week's (entirely coincidental) theme seems to be the monstrous elements within us.




The Dark Birds by Ursula Vernon (Jan. 2017, free at Apex, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue)

This creepy story is told by one of the ogre’s daughters, who lives in a home where the cannibalistic ogre stays in the basement and is fed by the mother. There are always three daughters, even though the mother has a child every few years. The daughters always have the same three names: the oldest is Ruth, the... Read More

SHORTS: Baker, Pinsker, McCarry

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 


The Bohemian Astrobleme by Kage Baker (2010, free at Subterranean Press, also included in Nell Gwynne’s Scarlet Spy)

The Bohemian Astrobleme is an entertaining Victorian steampunk novella about an adventure in the history of a rather underhanded and... Read More

SHORTS: Shu, Lemberg, Salvatore, Bradbury, Pinsker

Here are some of the stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about, most of which are free to read online. This week we continue focusing on 2015 Nebula-nominated short fiction, along with some other stories that caught our attention.

“Everybody Loves Charles” by Bao Shu, trans. Ken Liu (2016, free at Clarkesworld magazine; Read More

WWWednesday: December 22, 2021

Network Effect



I said this week’s column would be a single-issue one, and it is, but that issue is the Hugo winners. WorldCon 79 was held last weekend in Washington D.C. and the winners were announced on December 18.

This will be short. Find all the winning works here.

Best Novel:

 

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Best Novella:

The Empress of Salt And Fortune by Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2021 Hugo Awards (GIVEAWAY!)

Winners of the 2021 Hugo Awards will be announced at the 79th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) which will be held December 15-19 in Washington DC (DisCon III). (Usually WorldCon is held in August but it was delayed this year due to COVID). The award ceremony takes place on Saturday December 18. The Hugo Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers.

There are no Retrospective Hugo Awards being presented this year because the 1946 Retros were presented in 1996. We're covering only the categories you see below but there are lots more that you can find on the 2021 Hugo Award page.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We’ve included the co... Read More

We Are Satellites: A science fiction novel that will stay in your head

We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

Often in magical realism, a writer takes one little bit of magic and plunks it into an otherwise entirely realistic story, like adding a single drop of blue food dye into a glass of water that remains water, but water newly, wholly colored by that one tiny drop. In Sarah Pinsker’s novel, We Are Satellites (2021), we have what one might class science-fictional realism; she eschews building the usual futuristic world full of advances and instead offers up a single drop in the form of the Pilot, a brain implant that allows the wearers to multitask without loss of focus, making them incredibly efficient.

Pinsker further narrows the story by focusing like a laser on a single family and the varying impact the introduction of the Pilot into society has on each member, crafting a quiet, character-drive... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 27, 2021

Kat: I’m reading Machine by Elizabeth Bear. It’s slow-going so far. I’m more interested in the non-fiction book I’m reading: How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr. Michael Greger. It was recommended by two of my kids who are vegans. It’s very informative and full of scientific citations, though I suspect there’s a bit of cherry-picking going on (pun intended). But it’s clear that a whole-food plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat and I’ve been moving that way in the past few months for both health and ethical reasons.


Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2021 Locus Awards (Giveaway!)

On June 26, 2021 Connie Willis will host the Virtual 2021 Locus Awards Ceremony. The Locus Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers using an open public ballot. The Locus Award list is always fascinating because it's a lot different from the Nebula and Hugo lists.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. (Sorry we didn't manage to read all of them this year!)

We’ve included the cover art for our favorites.

Which, if any, of these finalists have you read? Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Are there any titles you think should have been on this list but aren't? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks or a $5 Am... Read More

WWWednesday: June 2, 2021

 

Carol Williams, town Crier. Image from Atlas Obscura



Ta-Nehisi Coates says farewell to Black Panther.

Another trove of previously-undiscovered writings of the Bronte siblings will go to auction in July. Now’s your chance.

LitHub has book recommendations based on your Zodiac sun sign... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2020 Nebula Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 56th Annual Nebula conference (June 4-6) will be held online this year (as it was last year) and the 2020 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Today let’s talk about the finalists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette. We’ll talk about other categories in a future column.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories. Most can be read for free online.

BEST SHORT STORY:

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson, Uncanny
Advanced Word Problems... Read More