August 14th, 2010

short stories

Speed of Light

It might be something in the air, or just that really big convention on our horizon, but a lot of the LSS crew have stepped up their reading this week!  Expect many more posts from us.

"The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball," Genevieve Valentine, Lightspeed - an elegant patchwork of a story centering around the zeppelin, that most romantic and hazardous of vehicles.

"No Time Like the Present," Carol Emshwiller - Lightspeed - a gentle story about aliens (or something) trying (badly) to fit into a small town during the Depression.  I really liked the young girl voice in this, and the focus on her friendship with one of the visitors.
short stories

Tiny Assassins, Vampire Boyfriends and Aliens Above

Okay so I just mainlined every story Strange Horizons have published since February and I have to say, they're having a great year!  Here are the ones that leaped out to me as the best of the best.

"The Duke of Vertumn's Fingerling," Elizabeth Carroll, Strange Horizons April - a gorgeous piece of court fantasy about a female homunculus created to be an assassin, and her relationship with her master.  This is one of my very favourite stories of the year so far.

"We Heart Vampires!!!!!!" Meghan McCarron, Strange Horizons, May - a very solid YA novelette about the Facebook generation and the uneasy aspects of teen girl friendships, and hanging out at the mall with vampires, and whether you should trust your friend's boyfriend when he starts flirting with you and maybe it's not him you fancy maybe it's your best friend and THE WORLD IS ENDING OMG.  The protagonist, George, made my heart hurt.

"On Not Going Extinct," Carol Emshwiller, Strange Horizons May - a literary take on one of the less popular fairy tale conceipts.  Not quite a romance, not quite a traditional story - like the heroine it's a little bumpy and odd, but worth paying attention to.

"Kifli," Rose Lemberg, Strange Horizons, June - a very small but poignant and clever story about daughterhood and family guilt and being apart from the place where you were born.  The unexpected golem was a powerful, deeply affecting symbolic addition.

"The Night Train," Lavie Tidhar, Strange Horizons, June - a crazy, surreal post-cyberpunk action adventure with a whole bunch of crunchy genderfuckery.

"How to Make Friends in Seventh Grade," Nick Poniatowski, June - there's a tradition of combining nostalgia for old fashioned science fiction stories with tales of childhood.  I've read many, many of this type of story.  This is one of the best.  Clear, sweet, with an elegant background science fiction worldbuilding, and a very clear theme of how high school and conformity and society in general can easily make you feel like you're better off with the aliens.

"Ghost of a Horse Under a Chandelier," Georgina Bruce, Strange Horizons August - a lovely, lyrical story about young girls in love with each other and grief and bravery and storytelling and comic book characters, all interwoven together to suggest the possibility of unravelling reality and making it dance to your own tune.