In a past that nearly happened, hippos are a common feature of the American wetlands. Winston Houndstooth has a government charter to herd the dangerous ferals out of the Harriet and into the Mississippi Delta. But Winston wants to do more than make some money. He wants to get revenge.
When humanity left Earth, they did so via the Flow – a little-understood force that handily connects disparate places in the universe. The Flow makes faster-than-light travel unnecessary. The Flow, consequently, holds the far-flung Empire together. And as one emperox dies and an unsuited heir is crowned, the Flow is collapsing…
Isabella, Lady Trent, is now a famous scientist and a happily-married woman – if still unwelcome in the ranks of the Collegium. But there’s nothing so dangerous as boredom, so when a Yelangese rebel puts temptation in her way, Isabella, Suhail and Tom set off on their biggest adventure yet…
“You take a shortcut through the hydroponics bay on your way to work, and notice that the tomato plants are covered in tiny crawling insects that look like miniature beetles.”
WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
Caroline M Yoachim’s entertaining response wins a Nebula nomination.
Ellie and Zera are best friends from different worlds, separated by a wardrobe door that has closed without warning. Cut off by circumstance and by time streams that flow ever further apart, the friends realise that sometimes you must open your own doors. A Merc Rustad gives us a Nebula-nominated portal fantasy.
Double whammy confession time: I hadn’t previously read Philip K Dick’s classic, and I don’t much like Blade Runner. Spot the obvious problem though: I have seen Blade Runner, and it’s really hard to read the book without being influenced by it.
In 1527, a Spanish colonial expedition landed in Florida to establish new colonies. 9 years later, the only 4 survivors finally reached Mexico City: 3 Spanish noblemen and 1 Moorish slave. This is his story.
Okay, having ‘fessed up about how few classics I’ve read, I shall endeavour to read at least half a dozen seminal SF works next year in my ongoing Confessions. But first, some catch-up – I read Slaughterhouse Five a while back. I knew it was hailed as a great SF AND great anti-war novel, but I didn’t really know what to expect. It certainly wasn’t what I got.
Brilliant science and human idiocy brought on the zombie apocalypse; a generation later, the population still lives behind walls. Intrepid bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are the rare exception – they’ll chase a good story wherever it leads. When they’re invited to join a Presidential campaign, their ratings are guaranteed. But politics can be as merciless as the walking dead…
Strange things keep coming out of Nadia’s pockets. Not her things. Not things that might accidentally have found their way into the wrong coat. Not things that should, by rights, physically fit in the space afforded by the pockets in question. But they keep coming out. Pockets is the World Fantasy Award-nominated short story by Amal El-Mohtar.
A signal boost – because look HOW GORGEOUS this is (and then look at who has contributed and get even more excited).
I am running a book giveaway at Facebook. Enter before August 31st for a chance to win copies of the two coffee table books European Monsters and African Monsters.
This is the last of my posts on award-nominated short fiction for the time being, with the Locus awards almost upon us. Folding Beijing is a scintillating vision from Chinese author Hao Jingfang (translation by Ken Liu): an urban fairy tale in a chillingly recognisable future. In the China of tomorrow, everyone will have a place.
Professor Duy Uyen is dead, her life’s work – to grow food in space and bring food safety to the Dai Viet Empire – unfinished. Aliette de Bodard’s Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight explores the impact of the Professor’s death on the three people closest to her, a melancholy exploration of mourning, reflection and acceptance.
The Best of Apex kicks off with multi-awarding short story Jackalope Wives. When Eva’s brooding boy half-catches himself a jackalope wife, he turns to his Grandma Harken for help. But there’s not much an old lady can do about some mistakes. Or is there?
Bonus bite: Grandma Harken deserves more than one story, so Ursula Vernon wrote her another adventure – The Tomato Thief.
Timmy Wilde has disappeared, but his mom has a pretty good idea of how to find him. God-fearing woman and devoted pastor’s wife she may be, but she’ll do whatever it takes to bring her son home. Some journeys take you to unexpected places.