Saturday, November 3, 2007

[C1] Short stories: A reading guide by quality - Part 9 of 10

This C1 file was split on 23 May 2008 because the list has grown too big & unwieldy; later half is now in new C2 file. Some opening remarks of main story list document conventions, if you are here the first time.

This file will again be split in future when it grows big - so it's not safe to link to. Links should be only to original main story list that now contains initial part & links to remaining parts; that's the only stable URL among the files comprising this list.

Idea is to keep each file between 25 & 50 stories.

List navigation.

Current file's name is in bold. Files earlier in the list hold better stories; those later in the list worse stories. Files names Ai contain A-rated stories, etc.

first, previous, next.
A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3, B4, [C1], C2.

Story list (best first).

  1. * Charles Stross' "Snowball’s Chance" (C); download: Humor. A criminal cons the Devil.
  2. [novelette] C L Moore's "Tryst in Time" (C); Astounding Stories, December 1936; science fiction: A romance spanning multiple lifetimes!
  3. Gene Wolfe's "Green Glass" (C); Asimov's, April/May 2007: Fantasy. One of those indescribable stories. Sounded like something about the empathy we should feel for lower life forms. A man & a woman end up trapped in an enclosed space - probably an alien ship, probably not. Probably they are like tiny insects kids trap in bottle to watch. They meet some familiar people inside. Eventually are back to their original space - may be out of a dream...
  4. * Larry Niven's "Smut Talk" (C); download; Playboy, January 2000; science fiction: Sentient aliens, in the form of parasitic bacterial colonies needing other sentient hosts, first attack humans, & then make a pact with them.
  5. [ff] Marvin Minsky & David Gerrold's "Why There Are No Type-C Civilizations" (C); Jim Baen's Universe, #13 (June 2008); science fiction: Some aliens have an unusual appetite!
  6. * Susan Partridge's "The Oracle" (C); download; AntiSF, #113 (October/November 2007); science fiction: Nostaligic story from a future dystopia of times "when water fell out of the sky — a time when Earth had many trees... before the seas' oxygen- producing plankton were destroyed by nuclear-waste dumping in the Northern hemisphere". In this dystopia, humans no longer look like us - as a result of long crossing of human genome with animals.
  7. Larry Niven's "The Borderland of Sol" (C); Analog, Jan 1975; science fiction: Space pirates are robbing commercial traffic on busy interstellar routes with a novel weapon. Our heroes are out to hunt them down.
  8. * Michael Swanwick's "A Small Room in Koboldtown" (C); download; Asimov's April/May 2007; fantasy: Senseless murder mystery. Has magical creatures but familiar political & ghetto characters, & utterly arbitrary plot.
  9. * Shaun A Saunders' "Flash" (C); download; AntiSF, #113 (October/November 2007); non-genre: An argument about why leading a life of poverty writing flash fiction is better than being prosperous! Living in India, I've heard the argument for so long, it sounds tiring now.
  10. * Erica L Satifka's "Automatic" (C); download; Clarkesworld, Jaunary 2007: A future dystopic society where most humans have died out & the few remaining ones are aliens' property.
  11. * Paul Di Filippo's "Wikiworld" (C); download: Description of some sessions of a multi-player computer game.
  12. * Bruce Sterling's "Homo Sapiens Declared Extinct" (C); download; Nature, 11 November 1999: AIs have replaced humans in this future world.
  13. * Ruthanna Emrys' "Ghosts and Simulations" (C); download; Strange Horizons, 12 November 2007: Description of a facility to manage "uploaded consciousness" of clients!
  14. Jack Skillingstead's "Scrawl Daddy" (C); Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2007: Figuring out the alien space travel technology.
  15. * Vernor Vinge's "Synthetic Serendipity" (C); download: A world with ubiquitous wearable computing. This story was later expanded to become the novel "Rainbows End" that won Hugo Award 2007.
  16. * Ian McDonald's "The Djinn's Wife" (C); download; Asimov's, July 2006; science fiction: Marriage of a woman to a robot gone sour.
  17. * David Eagleman's "A Brief History of Death Switches" (C); download; Nature magazine, 19 Oct 2006; science fiction: Keep living after death - in behavior of software agents!
  18. * Eliot Fintushel's "How the Little Rabbi Grew" (C); download; Strange Horizons, 17 September 2007; non-genre: A religious story with biblical leanings about the coming of a messiah.
  19. * Cory Doctorow's "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" (C); download; Jim Baen's Universe, Aug 2006: A pretty mundane doomsday story. World goes down suddenly to multiple simultaneous terrorist attacks without a hint of protest or resistance from governments!
  20. Robert Reed's "Roxie" (C): Joys & sorrows of owning a dog.
  21. William Davis' "Waiting on Alexandre Dumas"; download; Strange Horizons, 26 June 2007; non-genre: A rich customer (perhaps a ghost of the famous (French?) author named Alexandre Dumas) visits a restaurant.
  22. * Ken Scholes' "Summer in Paris, Light from the Sky" (C); download; Clarkesworld, November 2007: An alternate history of Europe during mid twentieth century - with Hitler as a savior of Jews.
  23. * [ff] Hannah Steenbock's "Something New Under The Sun" (C); download; AntiSF, #119 (April/May 2008); non-genre: A woman who cares about sick birds gets something barely recognizable as bird.
  24. * [ss] Ted Chiang's "Division by Zero" (C); download; Lou Aronica, Amy Stout & Betsy Mitchell (Eds)' "Full Spectrum 3", 1991; non-genre: Extreme obsession of a woman mathematician sent her to a mental institution & has put her marriage in jeopardy.
  25. * David Charlton's "Moon Over Yodok" (C); download: Non genre. Civil rights violations in one of the Koreas. Very dark.
  26. * Jeffrey Ford's "The Way He Does It" (C); download; Electric Velocipede, Issue 10, Spring 2006: Life & skills of a stunt man.
  27. * Morley Robert's "The Anticipator" (C); download; 1898: A writer always ends up publishing the stories with plots of another one, before the other one has even penned them!
  28. * [ff] Peter Watts' "Repeating the Past" (C); download; Nature, 29 November 2007; science fiction: A man edits the brain of his adolescent grandson to make him fearful & reverent towards ancestors!
  29. * Joe McNamara's "Social Work" (C); download; AntiSF, #113 (October/November 2007); fantasy: A murderer justifies killing an innocent!
  30. * J P Overton's "Lumps" (C); download; AntiSF, #113 (October/November 2007); non-genre: A man terribly sick with a fast-spreading strange sickness doesn't want to go to a doctor! Leaves house when his wife discovers he is so sick & faints - afraid that she will insist he go see a doctor immediately!