Tag Archives: short fiction

Book Review: A Passport to a Nation of Talking Slugs by Andrew Kozma

8 Sep

In all honesty, this should really be called a booklet review, or, to be fancier, a chapbook review, because this is a slight little thing that a person could easily read all the way through while waiting in line at the DMV, still having time to start on another short story collection or anthology before her number was called. Which is to say that A Passport to a Nation of Talking Slugs could actually fit into a passport, as its amusingly apt cover might suggest. Continue reading

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Signal Boost #16: Fran Wilde (Horizon) and Bogi Takács (Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction)

22 Aug

In today’s episode of Signal Boost, Fran Wilde, author and tech consultant, joins Paul to dive into the final book in her Bone Universe series, Horizon. Fran and Paul discuss some of the worldbuilding and where this newest book takes us. Then Bogi Takács, writer of short-form speculative fiction, joins Jen to talk about Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, and anthology they just edited for Lethe Press. Bogi talks about how they got involved, what it means to them, and the kinds of stories that you’ll find in the anthology.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Fran Wilde – 0:55 – 20:45
Bogi Takács – 21:08 – 36:26

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading

Book Review: STORIES FOR CHIP: A TRIBUTE TO SAMUEL R. DELANY, Edited by Nisi Shawl & Bill Campbell

19 Jul

Publishing since the age of twenty, Samuel R. Delany is a highly respected novelist and literary critic alike. Familiarly known as “Chip”, Delany has written science fiction and fantasy (SFF) known for pushing boundaries, for challenging the notions of speculative genres, and experimenting with approaches to literature in general. Delany’s writing both subverts conventions and transcends fiction to explore social realities, most notably the existence of the Other. Indeed, as a man who could be described with terms such as academic, homosexual, polymath, African-American, and intelligent, Delany writes from the point of view of the Other, a spectrum of under-represented perspectives within SFF.

Both Delany’s fiction and nonfiction have been hugely influential, inspiring, and appreciated, partly due to this unique vision. However, his works have also resonated so strongly because Delany’s vision is not just unique, but uniquely brilliant, honest, and perceptive. With all of its challenges and transgressions against comfortable familiarity, Delany’s work strikes universal human chords, conveying both beauty and progressive encouragement. Continue reading

Book Review: Cracking the Sky by Brenda Cooper

30 Jul

Quantum searching across timelines with a high powered, sentient computer. A little girl who is being raised by robots, and may be one herself. Danger and adventure on a wondrous construct connecting an icy world and its cold neighbor. Small squad operations against rogue corporations. Long-distance virtual reality riding of a young woman living in Mexico. All this and more are found in Cracking the Sky.

Cracking the Sky, from Fairwood Press, represents the first science fiction-only collection of stories from science fiction, fantasy and futurist author  Brenda Cooper. The stories range throughout her oevure, selected from the last twelve years of her writing career. While Cooper is better known for her novels (see my review of Edge of Dark, for example), Cooper’s pen does take her into shorter forms. Indeed, some of the stories in this collection are short enough to be almost flash-fiction in length.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Stories of the Raksura Volume Two by Martha Wells

23 Jul

Through three novels and a previous collection of stories (Stories of the Raksura Volume One: The Falling World and The Tale of Indigo and Cloud), Martha Wells has built up an ever richer tapestry of tales of the Three Worlds, focusing primarily on her alien, shapeshifting and yet all too human race of the Raksura. Stories of the Raksura Volume Two: The Dead City and The Dark Earth Below continues in that tradition. Within, Martha gives us the two titular novellas as bookends to the book, and three stories in between.

Also like the first volume, Wells gives us a variety of time frames in which the stories are set. Having contented herself with setting up the framework of Moon (our primary POV protagonist) in the three Raksura books (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths), rather than always progressing the narrative forward in time, she has taken the tack of telling backstories, and side stories about the characters and the world. One of the stories, as detailed shortly, does not involve the Raksura at all. The richness of the peoples and creatures of the Three Worlds allows for amazing diversity in potential protagonists within and without of the Raksura themselves. The Raksura are her primary and overwhelming interest, and with good reason. However, there is nothing to prevent her from exploring other corners of her world. Continue reading

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