Friday, May 23, 2008

[B3] Short stories: A reading guide by quality - Part 7 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 B2 list that existed on 23 May 2008 because that list has grown too big & unwieldy - that B2 list is now in new B3 & B4 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. * Ellen Klages' "The Green Glass Sea"; download; Strange Horizons, 6 September 2004; science fiction: A somewhat casual telling of the first atom bomb test.
  2. * [novelette] Kristine Kathyrn Rusch's "Craters" (B); download; Future Weapons of War/Baen, March 2007: A collection of two unnamed stories - first one very dark - on terrorism & war.
  3. * Kristin Mandigma's "Excerpt from a Letter by a Social-realist Aswang" (B); download; Clarkesworld, October 2007; humor: A politician's doublespeak.
  4. Larry Niven's "Wait It Out" (B); The Future Unbound Program Book, 1968; science fiction: An accident on Pluto puts a man in natural semi-stasis, awaiting & hoping eventual rescue.
  5. Larry Niven's "Eye of an Octopus" (B); Galaxy, February 1966; science fiction: Humans dig up a Martian's grave.
  6. * Gene Wolfe's "Unrequited Love" (B); Subterranean, Summer 2007; download; science fiction: An Asimovian robot story.
  7. * Tim Pratt's "Impossible Dreams" (B): A fairy tale romance for the grown ups.
  8. Eric Frank Russell's "Symbiotica" (B); Astounding Science Fiction, October 1943; science fiction: Travails of inadvertently nasty human adventurers on an alien planet where animal & plant life-forms live in a much closer symbiosis than on earth, & where plants can be very nasty once provoked.
  9. [ss] Ray Bradbury's "February 1999: Ylla" aka "I'll Not Look For Wine" aka "The Martian Chronicles" (B); Avon Fantasy Reader, #14 (November 1950): First human contact with Martians turns fatal - for humans.
  10. [ss] F X Toole's "Holy Man" (B); Playboy, February 2008; non genre: A skilled boxer ends up destroying his career because he listens to the wrong people.
  11. [ss] Stephen Baxter's "Last Contact" (B); George Mann (Ed)'s "The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction" (2007); science fiction: A description of apocalypse.
  12. * John Scalzi's "Pluto Tells All" (B); download; Subterranean, Spring 2007; humor: Pluto (the planet)'s views on its downgrading by humans!
  13. Nancy Kress' "Fountain of Age" (B); download; Asimov's, July 2007; science fiction: An old man cannot get over love of his youth.
  14. Larry Niven's "Becalmed in Hell" (B); F&SF, July 1965; science fiction: A spaceship accident deep inside the atmosphere of Venus that might mean the human crew will never get back to earth.
  15. Robert Heinlein's "Ordeal In Space" aka "Broken Wings" (B); 1948; science fiction: A man overcomes his fear of heights.
  16. Robert Heinlein's "The Long Watch" aka "Rebellion on the Moon" (B); 1948; science fiction: A man foils a military coup.
  17. * Geoff Ryman's "Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter" (B); download; F&SF, Oct 2006; non-genre: A love story, in the backdrop of a political story - a girl comes to terms with the ghosts of her dictator dad's victims.
  18. * [novelette] James Van Pelt's "Of Late I Dreamt of Venus" (B); download; Eric T Reynolds (Ed)'s "Visual Journeys" (anthology), 2007; science fiction: A very rich woman has decided to terrafarm Venus, & make it better than earth. Story is about her 1000 year adventure - where most of the time she's in hibernation, along with her lover - waking up every few hundred years to review progress!
  19. * Martin Livings' "An Evil Twin" (B); download; AntiSF, #113 (October/November 2007); non-genre: A political story: why is the petty criminal punished when the President of a powerful country can order the killing of thousands by military & no one thinks he is a criminal?
  20. * Neil Gaiman's "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (B); download; 2006; science fiction: Aliens that can take over your mind.
  21. * Peg Robinson's "Tonino & the Incubus" (B); download; Helix #2 (Fall 2006); fantasy: A male prostitute takes his job very seriously.
  22. [flash fiction] Ray Bradbury's "August 1999: The Summer Night" (B); 1949: Why is the world going mad?
  23. * [novelette] Justin Stanchfield's "Beyond the Wall" (B); download; Eric T Reynolds (Ed)'s "Ruins: Extraterrestrial" (anthology), 2007; science fiction: Description of a very old enigmatic building of alien origin on Titan, a moon of Saturn.
  24. Chris Roberson's "The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small" (B); Asimov's, July 2007; non-genre: Story of the early days of European Renaissance, but set in China instead.
  25. [ss] Robert Stone's "Charm City" (B); Playboy, April 2008; non-genre: Description of a house burglary.
  26. Ted Chiang's "Catching Crumbs from the Table" (B); Nature, 1 June 2000; science fiction: Humans live an uncomfortable existence in a mixed society with superhumans.
  27. * Paolo Bacigalupi's "Yellow Card Man" (B); download; Asimov's, December 2006; non-genre: Man becomes beast. A refugee story, & of a loser. But by & large, quite realistic.
  28. Robert Heinlein's "Successful Operation" (B); 1940; science fiction: A dictator meets the deserved fate.
  29. Robert Heinlein's "Searchlight" (B); 1962; science fiction: Shipwreck & rescue on moon.
  30. Eric Frank Russell's "Mechanistria" (B); Astounding, January 1942; science fiction: Adventure on planet Mechanistria, a world owned by very hostile robots.
  31. * Gustavo Bondoni's "Defending Fjordland" (B); Darwin's Evolutions, June 2008; download; science fiction: Difficulties of a conservation project to protect a near-extinct bird.