Tag Archives: short stories

Book Review: Strange California (anthology)

4 Aug

California is a big state, and occupies an even bigger place in our imaginations, so it’s only to be expected that a collection of stories exploring what makes it so special — so strange — makes for a big book. Which is to say, a promise of value, of bang for one’s buck, is made right up front. Continue reading

Around the Podosphere #13: Podcasts of Note for June 24

24 Jun

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted one of these. Since the Skiffy and Fanty crew collectively listen to more podcasts than there are episodes of our show (totally scientific, promise), it’s about time we brought the Around the Podosphere back to share some of the goodness worming its way into our ears. So, here goes: Continue reading

Short and Sublime: April 2015 Round-Up

8 May

April stories include historical fantasies, fairy tales, near futures, and one space fantasy tale.

“Wild Things Got To Go Free” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #170) by Heather Clitheroe works because of, and is refreshing due to, its spare worldbuilding. Soldiers are rounding up and hunting down certain civilians, who are turning into, or have the potential to turn into, other creatures — which includes the young protagonist and her mother. The two young women in “The Ways of Walls and Words” (Tor.com) by Sabrina Vourvoulias are similarly threatened by the yoke of the real world Spanish empire; though they, and their ways of life, couldn’t be more different. It’s a story about friendship, Nahuatl magic, and the power behind language. Continue reading

Short and Sublime: March 2015 Round-Up

3 Apr

March has been a month of unusual settings, stories of alienation and loss, and meditations on the nature of time.

Tade Thompson’s “The Monkey House” (Omenana #2), dystopian horror, is a story about what it means to be trapped inside a system, and the horrors one must overlook to be a part of that system; what happens when the ability to ignore horrors both natural and fantastical is seized from you and you alone? The protagonist is an unreliable narrator — or is he far more reliable as a narrator than the characters that surround him? — and holds a banal job as a paper-pusher with an insidiously creepy company whose purpose is obscured. This dystopia is set not in the future but in the eighties and follows the Orwellian tradition while being rather Kafkaesque, but adds enough facets, from dark fantasy elements to the chronic illness of the protagonist, to create something entirely new. Continue reading

Mining the Genre Asteroid: Jirel of Joiry

3 Oct
Jirel of Joiry

Jirel of Joiry

Mining the Genre Asteroid is Paul Weimer’s look at the history of the science fiction and fantasy field, bringing to light important, interesting and entertaining books from science fiction and fantasy’s past to you.

France during the dark ages. The ruler of a feudal holding stands to protect the people and realm against usurpers and rivals, wizards and witches, dark crossovers from eldritch dimensions and haunted castles. Possessed of indomitable will, a strong emotional core that erupts in violent love and hatred, and not inconsiderable skill with sword and the leading of men into battle,  this feudal lord is the central character of six early sword and sorcery stories.

Meet the lady Jirel of Joiry.

Continue reading

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