Friday, May 23, 2008

[A3] Short stories: A reading guide by quality - Part 3 of 10

This file does not contain any new content - at least at the time of creation. It contains a portion of the short story A2 list that existed on 23 May 2008 because that list has grown too big & unwieldy - that original A2 list is now in new A3 & A4 files. 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 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. * [ss] Bob Shaw's "Light of Other Days" aka "Slow Glass" (A); download; Analog, August 1966; science fiction: A glass that slows down light so much it takes years to pass through! Leave a newly made glass next to a lake for a year; then install it on your window in a city - & you get to see real lake scene for a year. And not a static one - everything that happened there over the year will be replayed, before you see your local surroundings.
  2. [novelette] Ray Bradbury's "June 2001: - And the Moon be Still as Bright" (A); Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1948; science fiction: Fourth human expedition to Mars arrives safely, & finds all Martians dead of "Chicken pox" some earlier expedition brought! A crew member is feeling an extreme sense of guilt. Many crew members will die in the killings that ensue.
  3. [ff] Andrew Leadbeatter's "All For An Orchidaceae" (A); download; AntiSF, #110 (July/August 2007); science fiction: Extending MPAA "piracy" actions to genetically modified (GM) seed companies.
  4. * [novella] Connie Willis' "All Seated on the Ground"; download; Asimov's, December 2007; humor: How to convince the alien visitors that humans are worth talking to?
  5. * Stephen Baxter's "Sheena 5" (A); download; Analog, May 2000; science fiction: Humans inadvertently bootstrap very dangerous sentient species.
  6. * [novelette] Cory Doctorow's "Anda's Game" (A); download;, 15 November 2004; science fiction: Interesting story is the description of a multi-player online computer game & associated virtual world. Much less interesting parallel thread is some commentary on the economy of sweat-shops in low wage countries.
  7. * Charles de Lint's "Make a Joyful Noise" (A); download; Subterranean, Summer 2007; fantasy: Very good motivational story, presented as a fantasy. An old woman finally prepares to outgrow the demons of her past. Added to my best of the year 2007 picks.
  8. * Cory Doctorow's "Scroogled" (A); download; Radar magazine, 12 September 2007; science fiction: It pays to care about the data Google is collecting about you.
  9. * Cory Doctorow's "0wnz0red" (A); download;, 28 August 2002; science fiction: Software that takes over your body's maintenance functions from your brain - e.g., to tone up your muscles, or to heal a sickness!
  10. Eric Frank Russell & Maurice G Hugi's "Mechanical Mice" (A); Astounding, January 1941; science fiction: Robots programmed for survival terrorize a human neighborhood.
  11. Lester del Rey's "Helen O'Loy" (A); Astounding, December 1938; science fiction: A hominid robot in a female body is madly in love with "her" creator!
  12. Henry Kuttner's "Absalom" (A); Startling Stories, Fall 1946; non-genre: Theme is the similar to "Mimsy Were the Borogoves": generation gap - kids can & will do things their parents cannot, often bringing grief to parents. But this is a rather dark story - father cannot understand his son's ambitions, son won't be held back by his father. Each is prepared to hurt the other.
  13. Jack Williamson's "With Folded Hands" (A); download MP3; Astounding, July 1947; science fiction: Benign robots have turned humans into worthless beings with no hope. I actually don't like it's negativity much, but rating it B would have moved it below many stories far less well written!
  14. Harry Turtledove's "News from the Front" (A); Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2007; non-genre: Conflict between Roosevelt administration & US media during the first 6 months of US/Japan engagement during World War II. Added to my best of the year 2007 list.
  15. Brian Stableford's "The Trial" (A); Asimov's, July 2007; science fiction: Early field trials of a drug are too successful!
  16. John Schoffstall's "Bullet Dance" (A); Asimov's, July 2007; fantasy: An unconventional way to cope with a gunman.
  17. Eric Frank Russell's "Jay Score" (A); Astounding, May 1941; science fiction: An accident puts a Venus bound passenger spaceship in a situation where it will be sucked into the Sun!
  18. * Robert Reed's "A Billion Eves" (A); download; Asimov's Oct/Nov 2006; science fiction: Options galore to rebuild your unhappy life, in a society not very friendly to women.
  19. Henry Kuttner's "Cold War" (A); Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1949; fantasy, humor: It doesn't pay to blackmail supermen to do your bidding!
  20. Henry Kuttner's "Nothing But Gingerbread Left" (A); Astounding, January 1943; science fiction, humor: A musical super weapon - for use by US against Germany in World War II. Need to read it with suspended credulity, but good fun.
  21. * Paul Melko's "The Walls of the Universe" (A); download; Asimov's April/May 2006; science fiction: A boy is conned by his alter ego from a parallel universe.
  22. * [novelette] Mark Clifton's "What Now, Little Man?" (A); download; F&SF, December 1959; science fiction: Examining racial superiority prejudices.
  23. * Donna Glee Williams' "Limits" (A); download; Strange Horizons, 23 July 2007; fantasy: A beautifully told motivational story about discovering limits of your ability without reference to social expectations.
  24. [ss] Hal Clement's "Halo" (A); Galaxy, October 1952; science fiction: Earth was part of an alien agricultural farm, only they could not harvest our ancestors as food because...