Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stories from Nature magazine, May 2013 issues

Five stories, all flash fiction length, all online. List below is in order of my preference, best first. Only story that somewhat worked for me is the first one, Haynes'.
  1. 23 May: Michael Haynes' "An alien named Tim" (B); download: A solo alien stowaway on a human starfaring ship is captured, & tells the crew: "I'm going to steal your ship, hijack your cargo, take it to my homeworld, and thereby use it to launch an invasion of your worlds."

    He's confined but no one takes him seriously. Until it's too late...
  2. 16 May: Ken Liu's "The plague" (B); download: A plague of man-made germs & nanobots killed off most humanity. Some descendents of the then rich still survive in domed cities; some poor in the open survived too by adapting to this environment normally poisonous to humans. The story is of irony: men in domes think outsiders are "deformed" & less than human; one of them is about to get educated.
  3. 2 May: Vaughan Stanger's "Bee futures" (C); download: Anti-GM-crops activists succeed too well - by making farmers switch to non-food crops, leading to widespread starvation.
  4. 9 May: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley's "The front line" (C); download: A frontline human soldier is advising a fresh recruit that just arrived. Humanity is fighting a war with "Sporians", originally probably of Mars. Only it's not a war. These are vegetable-beings with spores fatal to humans, & humans are only trying to keep them confined, & loosing.

    I get a feeling it might be a parable to various ongoing wars of US, but I'm not sure.
  5. 30 May: S R Algernon's "A time for peace" (C); download: A man who would invent time machine in future, go back in time, & change things so his original timeline won't exist walks into the prestigious Institute for admission. He will be admitted, but the Institute director has no intention to not having ever existed as a result of this man's work!