August 22nd, 2010

short stories

Clarkesworld Highlights

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time, by Catherynne M. Valente, Clarkesworld, August - a strange, fractured mosaic of a story, reminiscent of Pamela Zoline's Heat Death of the Universe in its juxtaposition of the science-fictional with the mundane, with a healthy dose of mythology.  This is a powerful piece, with a strong female voice, which explores the everyday kind of time travel that memory and history allows us to indulge in.

Beach Blanket Spaceship, by Sandra McDonald, Clarkesworld, July - a pitch-perfect story of a spaceman caught in a 50's nostalgia virtual reality, with plenty to say about identity, memory and love.  The story may appear flimsy on the surface but it shows some excellent writing and an exceptionally clever use of point-of-view which creeps up on the reader as the story progresses.

"Futures in the Memories Market," Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Clarkesworld, June - a poignant, bittersweet story of a woman whose memories are bought and sold, through the eyes of one of her bodyguards, who has the closest thing anyone can have to a relationship with her.  I felt the ending came too soon, and wanted to know more about where they were heading!

"A Jar of Goodwill," by Tobias Buckell, Clarkesworld, May - a clever space opera tale of ethics and diplomacy with plenty of background worldbuilding.  I liked the character interactions very much, as well as the questions it posed about the future of humanity.

"January," by Becca De La Rosa, Clarkesworld, April - a strange, knowing piece about a man who lives with the ghost of his dead wife, and develops a friendship with another woman who may or may not be real.  I love De La Rosa's prose style, and this is a very solid story from her.