March 6th, 2010

A Very Hungry Caterpillar

Sara Genge - 'Malick Pan'

I'll admit - when I saw Sara Genge's name on the ToC of Asimov April/May, I had the urge to read it last. To savour what I knew would be complex, interesting, and a good story.

I didn't wait until last, but I did manage to hold off for a few short stories first! 

'Malick Pan' is a futuristic story about children, sex, gender, survival, nanobots... gee, did I miss anything? Subtle, rich and complex, I really enjoyed this story. I think it's not quite as brilliant as 'As Women Fight,' which might just be one of my favourite stories of all time, but this is a very very good read. A very interesting take on nanobots and reinventing an older story.
short stories

Scars and Ghosts

A gloomy couple of recs for you today, from Fantasy Magazine (which by the way, I now read via app on my iPod Touch, how awesome is the future?).

Sarah Monette's "After the Dragon" is a powerful story of rehabilitation after a great injury.  I thought seriously about whether to recommend this one or not, because it left me with the feeling that it could be a story in our world, that the fact that the protagonist's scars and burns come from a dragon attack is almost incidental, and ultimately the story relies on no magical elements at all.  But then I remember the beautiful description of a melted beach, and the uncanny nature of the glass.  Ultimately this story makes me think about what a fantasy story is, which is no bad thing at all.

Willow Fagan's "My Mother, The Ghost" is a powerful story of painful adolescence, told through beautifully mundane details, in which a boy's realisation that his endlessly-scrubbing mother is in fact dead, and a ghost, is tangled inexorably up in the crush he has on his best friend.  He attempts to tell the story, but every time he looks too closely at it, the story falls to pieces.  Marvellously done.