Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Short Fiction: February

I’m back!  It’s been a difficult March this year. Anyhow, I’m happy to say that I’m almost fully recovered and ready to write blog posts.  Today, I want to (finally) talk about my favorite pieces of short fiction from February.  If there is a theme for my favorites of this month, I would say it is challenging moral dilemmas.

Charlotte, Incorporated by Rachael K. Jones (Short Story,Lightspeed):  This was a very unusual story about a disembodied brain’s dream of purchasing a body.  How far will Charlotte go to get what she wants?  I really appreciated that Charlotte’s ideas for her future body had everything to do with self-image and sensuality, but nothing to do with physical attractiveness and sex.  I liked how it underlined the simple joy of physical existence.   

Tom, Thom by K.M. Ferebee (Novelette, Tor.com):  This quiet story takes on a common trope—a changeling—but in an unexpected way.  The changeling child is not necessarily evil, but a vulnerable young person who has been cast out to die by his own people. Ferebee has a very strong and beautifully descriptive style, which helps to set the atmosphere of the story.

The Coward’s Option by Adam-Troy Castro (Novella, Analog): “The Coward’s Option” sets up an interesting spacefaring civilization, an alien world, and a compelling moral dilemma involving free will and violent crime. Beware though, that this is a link only to the first part, and the rest is in an Analog back-issue (which was already a back-issue in February, despite being the 'March' issue).  On the strength of the first half of the novella, it was one of my favorites of the month, and I'm going to track down the rest of the story at some point.

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