Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Short Story of the Week (September 2012)


Neil is picking the stories this month but he gave the first one to me ahead of time and told me I could write his bio. :)

Neil, who hails from Oregon City, Oregon, comes from a long line of Neils. In fact he has traced his line all the way back to King Neil the First who did all the real heavy lifting against the Persian Empire before that Alexander guy came in and took all the credit.

Present day Neil’s first brush with science fiction occurred when he was introduced to Theodore Sturgeon at a dinner party and he asked Sturgeon what he did for a living and Sturgeon replied that he wrote science fiction. And Neil said, “Isn’t 90% of that crap?” Everybody laughed at his quip and the Sturgeon asked, “Mind if I steal that?”

But, after that rocky start Neil developed a great love for science fiction. He devoured such classics as “The Foundation,” “Dune,” and “They’d Rather Be Right.” And I mean he literally devoured them, as in he ate the books. I know it’s kind of strange isn’t it? Pictured above are some of the novels in his home that he hasn’t had a chance to eat yet

Other then enjoying a tasty science fiction novel, Neil has two other passions in life: skydiving and weight lifting. Here are two recent pictures of Neil enjoying his hobbies.         

louandskydivingcopy Neil skydiving and Lou  Ferrigno...I mean Neil lifting some weights.

Neil is a true renaissance man he has also dabbled in the entertainment business, he wrote and sang lots of number one hit songs like “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” and “Sweet Caroline.” And he wrote such Tony award winning plays as the “Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park.” He costars on the hit comedy show “How I Met Your Mother.” And, he was the first man to walk on the moon. 

September Short Fiction

Week #1 How to Become a Mars Overlord by Cathryn M Valente

Neil said, "Valente is one of the most imaginative writers out there right now in my opinion."

According to Wikipedia, "Valente's work tends to center on folkloric and mythological themes, reimagining fairy tales and genre tropes via feminist, surrealist, and postmodern lenses. Her writing is characterized by stylistic and structural experimentation as well as complex linguistic and poetic techniques."

Her novel "Palimpest" was nominated for a Hugo Award.

Week #2 Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okarofor

Who Fears Death was one of my favorite books I read this year. Nnedi Okarofor
has a different voice that get's right into your head when you read her words.

Anyway a story about oil, zombies and music in Spider the Artist.

Week #3 Super-Toys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss

A classic from 1969, the inspiration for the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Aldiss is one of those authors who can really create an atmosphere in his
writing, I think he captures the feeling of loneliness,almost hopelessness with
this story.

Week #4 The Ferryman by Eric Brown

I started the book that was based on this story this week. It's an interesting
premise. What would happen to the world if aliens arrived and gave humanity
immortality, it's seen through the experiences of a small Yorkshire village.

I'm not sure how successful the book is yet but this story definitely has the
human element down.

Week #5 The Streets of Ashkelon by Harry Harrison

This seemed appropriate, I remember reading it a long time ago, this and
Moorcock's Behold the Man had a profound affect on me.

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