Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Short Story of the Week (March 2013)

Each week at the Classic Science Fiction Message Board we read a short science fiction piece (short story, novelette or novella). These stories are always available for FREE online so that anyone can participate in the discussion. The stories are chosen by a different member every month, so that we get to read a variety of stories. March's stories are being picked by Rusty.

Rusty shared a biography with us the last time he picked the stories last June. Here is what he said about his short fiction picks this month, "Becky did a wonderful job picking some great classic stories last month, so I thought I would go the other direction and choose some very recent modern stories for this month. With all the science fiction awards coming up this year, several of the nominees have their stories freely available online, so I figured we could take a look at some of those."


Week #1-  Immersion by Aliette de Bodard.

We'll start off this week with a story that has been nominated for both the Nebula and the British Science Fiction Association award. It is about 2 women in the far future who use technological devices to alter their appearances. A review by Rusty can be found here.

Week #2- Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest by Bruce Boston.
This week I thought we could read a SF contender for the Bram Stoker Award - a yearly award for superior achievement presented by the Horror Writer's Association and named after the famed author of Dracula.  I know this isn't a horror reading group, but this short story is from a science fiction zine - so I figured we could give it a try.

Week #3- "Five Ways to Fall In Love on Planet Porcelain" by Cat Rambo.

John's Thoughts- Read this story on my lunch today and was blown away! It packs the emotion punch of a 16 ton weight in the gut! Cat Rambo, I hope this wasn't from the heart because if it was somebody hurt you really bad. Great story A+.

Rusty- I also liked the porcelain people, and thought that a world populated with them was a very cool idea! I thought it was a good story told well - and I hope it does well in the Nebula Awards.

Week # 4- Robot by Helena Bell.

Rusty- At first I was kind of turned off that it was one long monologue, but as it went on I realized that we were being given glimpses of this woman's life and thought processes.  That part was cool, but I still would have liked more action and explanations in the story.

John's thoughts- What a bizarre and yet fantastic story! I have no concept of what disease this woman has, but that doesn't detract from the story, if anything it just enhances the overall wonderful weirdness. The woman is such an unreliable narrator due to what appears to be dementia and therefore I feel like we know almost nothing for sure.

Week #5 Nanny's Day by Leah Cypess.

John's Thoughts- You work hard at your job so that you can put food on your family's table. You regret that your nanny sees your children more than you do. What if that Nanny decides she wanted to take your children away from you? And what if the courts sided with her? 

I found this to be the weakest of the stories this month.  


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