Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stories from Playboy magazine, 2009 issues

Note that while they sometimes publish very good genre stories, most of their fiction is non-genre.

List below is by my preference - best first; unread stories come at end. My rating (ABC: A = time well spent; C = don't bother) is in brackets. Unless mentioned otherwise, stories are from US edition of the magazine.

Note: I actually have no preference between first two entries - Vonnegut's story & Arnold's. Vonnegut is economical - no word wasted, & deals with a timeless issue that has been done to death on TV & in movies. Arnold, by comparison, is wasteful of words, but deals with a contemporary subject.
  1. September: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's "Confido" (A); science fiction: Now no one need be lonely!

    While this story was written early in Vonnegut's career, it got published for the first time in 2009 only.

    Added to my "best of the year 2009" list.
  2. October: Christopher Feliciano Arnold's "Light, Sweet Crude" (A); non genre: Wealth creation by creating physical assets vs by manipulating numbers in a database are contrasted.

    Added to my "best of the year 2009" list.
  3. January: Scott Turow's "In His Own Woods" (A); non-genre: A man & his little daughter have adventure in the woods.
  4. May: Jim Shepard' "Minotaur" (B); non-genre: Troubled personal lives of those working on secret military projects.

    In this case, a couple of US military men working on a weapons program dubbed "Minotaur" - a kind of airborne surveillance & attack machine. Because of extreme secrecy that requires them to lie about their work even to their wives, their home lives are unhappy ones.
  5. June: Maile Meloy's "Lovely Rita" (B): non-genre: Complicated story of maladjusted people & wrecked lives in the background of local environment disaster brought by a nuclear power plant & a housing development project.
  6. February: Jess Walter's "Helpless Little Things" (B); non-genre: Danny, a conman, drug runner, narrator, & generally a bad man, gets conned by Julie, a young vulnerable-looking girl working for & once abused by him.

    Too much swearing & slang for my taste.
  7. March: ?
  8. April: ?
  9. July: ?
Related: All Playboy stories. Or only from 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008 or 2007 issues.


Lenny said...

I loved Jess Walter's short story and I was googling to find out more from the author and found you post. I would, if I were you, remove the spoiler from the description though. I would hate to have someone read the story after the post.