Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Short SF/F That's Actually Good (plus Haikus!)

So you probably read my two part interview with Paul Kincaid by now. (If not, go read it now--his answers are really worth your time. Also read the LA Review article that kicked it all off.) You may, as a result, feel a bit down on SF/F. Maybe you should, as Jonathan McCalmont, M. John Harrison and Paul McCauley all suggest, or take it as a call to arms, like Alastair Reynolds. Obviously all of us just want the best for the genre, and being critical is a big part of that. But I'd like to stress the positive for a day, and point to some stories I've read over the past few years that, to me, signal good things to come for the genre. In true nerds_feather fashion, I present you a list of 6...with a haiku for each:


6. Geoffrey Landis, "Sultan of the Clouds" [Asimov's, September 2010.]

Style: Science Fiction
Online Availability: Free!
Nanoreview Score: 8/10. "Well worth your time and attention."

Nuts-and-bolts SF,
Masterfully presented.
Worth reading again.




5. Aliette de Bodard, "Immersion" [Clarkesworld, June 2012.]

Style: Science Fiction
Online Availability: Free!
Nanoreview Score: 8/10. "Well worth your time and attention."

What SF should be:
Reaching for the stars, so that
We can know ourselves.




4. Ken Liu, "The Paper Menagerie" [The Magazine of F&SF, March/April 2011]

Style: Magic Realism
Online Availability: Free!
Nanoreview Score: 9/10. "Very high quality/standout in its category."

True, it's not really
About the magic paper.
Startling and profound.

3. K.J. Parker, "Amor Vincit Omnia" [Subterranean, Summer 2010.]

Style: Fantasy
Online Availability: Free!
Nanoreview Score: 9/10. "Very high quality/standout in its category."

Wizards must be trained,
And power must be guarded--
Jealously, it seems.




2. Jennifer Egan, "Black Box"[The New Yorker, June 2012.]

Style: Science Fiction
Online Availability: $$
Nanoreview Score: 10/10. "Mind-blowing/life-changing/Best. Story. Evar."

Constructed through tweets,
Written like a spy's handbook,
Shouldn't work, but does.




1. Alice Sola Kim, "The Other Graces" [Asimov's, July 2010.]

Style: Science Fiction/Magic Realism
Online Availability: Nope...it's in the 2011 edition of Horton's "The Year's Best" anthology, though.
Nanoreview Score: 10/10. "Mind-blowing/life-changing/Best. Story. Evar."

Not everyone,
Can pull off second-person.
Still stunned by this one.

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