Friday, March 27, 2009

Mike Resnick, "Beachcomber"

Robot learns about beauty

I've read this sort of story before. Robot learns to value beauty far more deeply than the humans that surround it. Well written but nothing much new is presented.

Read it here.

Benjamin Rosenbaum, "Start the Clock"

Learning to live with the biologically aged folk

He shoots, he scores. Rosenbaum posits a future where the aging process can either be slowed or stopped and presents a friend of the protagonist who wants to "start the clock" and age normally. Well realized as a future and the future slang wand whatnot. I believe this is my favorite Rosenbaum story so far.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Benjamin Rosenbaum, "The Book of Jashar"

Ever wonder what the lost Bible book, The Book of Jashar, was about? Here ya go!

I wasn't expecting to like this one, but he reeled me in. It turned out not too blasphemous after all! Check it out on the Google.

Ted Chiang, "Exhalation"

Another universe, completely realized.

This is a story I can get behind. Chiang has created a universe and made it sing. It's one of the best stories I have read. This is what Science Fiction is for. Read this, people. It's amazing!


Benjamin Rosenbaum, "The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale"

A fairy tale, quite modern, taking place in California.

This was an odd one. It is indeed Californish. But it had a not-thought-through- feel too. I like the talent Rosenbaum seems to posess. But sometimes I wonder at the point he's making. This is from The Ant King and Other Stories and the entire collection can be found online. Use your Google to locate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sheila Heti, "The Giant"

Oh woe is the giant.

Strange, short story. Giant gets depressed, goes to Paris and is changed. Pretty deep if you think about it. Recommended.

Read it here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rudy Rucker and John Shirley, "All Hangy"

Humanity is changing...all hangy-like

A couple of cyberpunk authors combine talents to create a freaky story positing a change in humanity. Just what that change is, you'll have to read. I enjoyed it.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Adam Roberts, "Dick Does Time"

Fun with Dick as he goes insane.

Crazy. Poor Dick. Dick is confused. Rob liked the way this adult situation was written in primary reader verse. But poor Dick. Poor poor Dick. Spot too.

Read story here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Haruki Murakami, "The Elephant Vanishes"

An elephant vanishes from the local enclosure in which it was housed and one man may know why.

This had the feel of a Millhauser story, but by the end it's Murakami-esque. The resolution leaves something to be desired. Or perhaps the elephant represents a certain culture in Japan. Or something. Entertaining and surreal none the less. Unless it's nonetheless.

Can be read here even though they mistitled it The Second Bakery Attack, it's really The Elephant Vanishes.

Mary Miller, "Full"

A woman sits around her cousin's house, being kinduva bitch.

Fun little story. Not usually do you read in fiction about a jerk of a chick. This one's bitchy but interesting. I'd like to read a longer story about this woman.

Read it here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Haruki Murakami, "The Dancing Dwarf"

The dwarf in a man's dream takes over his life.

from The Elephant Vanishes, 1993.

I liked this story. I like how the man works at a factory that builds elephants. Not fake ones, but the real deal. I like all the descriptions of his jobs there. And all that oddness isn't really relevant to the dancing dwarf that takes over his life in potentially disastrous ways. Probably a fable where a lesson may be learned as well, for those who are inclined to do so.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale and the Rose"

A beautiful fantasy story from Oscar Wilde.

This wonderful story can be viewed as a tragedy, the tragedy of sacrifice for love, or as a championing of the aesthetic movement Wilde believed in. Either way it is effective and I urge you to read it.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Charles D’Ambrosio, "Up North"

Families get together and nerves become raw.

"Sandy put on a red union suit and climbed the ladder into her bunk, and we tried to resume dinner, but soon she was leaning over the edge of the bed, shouting down at us.
“That’s the difference,” she said.
“Go to bed, dear,” Steve said.
“I want to tell you the difference!”
“O.K.,” Steve said. “What’s the difference?”
“You all have stories,” Sandy said. “And we have secrets.”
“Good night,” Mr. Jansen said.
“That’s the difference,” she said.

Extremely well written story by D’Ambrosio. The winter scenery is so evocative I was feeling cold during some scenes. Mostly, though, the dynamics of these couples is displayed incredibly well. The "secret" Sandy refers to is her husband's adultery, which everyone seems to know about. Highly recommended.

Read it here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Haruki Murakami, "The TV People"

from The Elephant Vanishes, 1993.

A slow descent into surrealism.

Crazy story. A man, the narrator, starts seeing people who bring him a TV. Slightly smaller than normal humans, they are doing something that is going to alter his life, and, possibly, ours. Lots of unanswered questions but they're entertaining.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Benjamin Rosenbaum, "The Orange"

An orange gets to be god.

Funky little story. Short too. Go check it out. Interesting concept written well by Rosenbaum. This guy's a trip.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Haruki Murakami, "Sleep"

from The Elephant Vanishes, 1993.

"This is my seventeenth straight day without sleep."

I liked this one a lot. Wouldn't your life be very different if you no longer required sleep? This woman has the sleepless condition and uses it for a task I would, to wit, reading more. She reads Anna Karenina mostly, and muses on her life. Does it have to end the way it does? Probably. Fabulous story.