science fiction, new weird, old weird, very weird - and everything else
not always save for work. never nice.
Erm... yeah. About that...
Brooke Bolander: And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead - ****
Fast & dirty cyperpunk.
Sam J. Miller: Things with Beards (again read by Kate Baker) - ***
Another The Thing-fanfiction, a quasi-sequel to Carpenter's film. MacReady is back from the ice, but MacReady's not really MacReady any more. Miller uses the popular SF horror film as a starting point to deal with discrimination, homophobia, the advent of the AIDS-crisis, and the fight against authorities. Miller's prose is as awesome as usual, but somehow the story failed to grab me. Maybe it deserves a second read.
John Wyndham: The Stare - ***
A very short, very pointy story.
C.C. Finlay: Time Bomb Time - ****
A palindrome! Clever.
Samuel R. Delany: The Atheist in the Attic - ***
This novella, published for the first time in book format by PM Press' Outspoken Authors line, tells about a meeting between the two philosophers Leibniz and Spinoza in Amsterdam. For his atheist, deterministic views Spinoza has become a persona non grata with his fellow Jews, so Leibniz has to keep the meeting secret. I found the story a bit unfocused, but appreciated the introduction to Spinoza. The book also contains Delany's essay „Racism in Science Fiction“ and a recent interview and is alltogether a 4 star read.
Sam J. Miller: Calved - ****
Short story is set in Qaanaaq, eponymous floating city of Miller's recent novel Blackfish City, following Dom, an ice boat worker, at his desperate attempt to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage son Thede. It's well imagined cli-fi – science fiction dealing with the consequences of climate change – as well as a gut-punching tragedy. “Crushing” is probably the most fitting expression to describe it. That I anticipated the ending quite early on just made it worse. (In case it isn't clear: That's a compliment.)
Samuel R. Delany: The Hermit of Houston - *****