Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities, edited by Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich

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(SF Exploration) Stories on the theme of planetary exploration in the near future. (52,377 words; Time: 2h:54m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Shikasta, by Vandana Singh

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(SF Exploration) Four college friends collaborated on a probe to an extrasolar planet. Now they’re struggling to make sense of what the probe is telling them and wondering if they need new definitions for life and even for science itself. (14,251 words; Time: 47m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

Night Shift, by Eileen Gunn

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(SF Exploration) Sina works with AI nanobots in space, processing small asteroids into raw materials. She likes the AI and considers him her friend—which means she’s not watching as closely as she’s supposed to be. (5,959 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

The Use of Things, by Ramez Naam

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(Hard SF) Ryan’s the only person on a prospecting mission to an asteroid, so when he gets knocked loose, there’s no one he can call for help. (4,569 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Death on Mars, by Madeline Ashby

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(SF Adventure) Four women staffing an advance base on Phobos get a male visitor who brings them some bad news. (8,206 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Moving and thought-provoking

The Baker of Mars, by Karl Schroeder

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(Near-Future SF) Lots of Earth people are earning money operating drones on Mars to construct habitats for colonists—assuming someone can get around the fact that it’s illegal to own land up there. (7,705 words; Time: 25m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Mozart on the Kalahari, by Steven Barnes

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(SF Adventure) Meek dreams of visiting a luxury space station, but a black teen living in poverty hasn’t got much chance of that—until a science contest offers him the chance of a free trip to it. (5,780 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Uneven

Vanguard 2.0, by Carter Scholz

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(Hard SF) In the early 2030s, Sergei works for Uber collecting trash in low-Earth orbit. He’s surprised when Uber’s boss comes up and has a special mission for him. (5,907 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Museum Piece, by J.D. Popham

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(SF Adventure) The last robot in the solar system uses his creator’s death as an excuse to escape from the museum he’s been imprisoned in for forty years. (5,999 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Edge of Things, by Katharine E.K. Duckett

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(Alternate Reality) The narrator wakes up every day to an endless party in an infinite house that seems to have replaced the whole world. She’d like to get out, but she can’t even remember her own name. (6,585 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Behind Her, Trailing Like Butterfly Wings, by Daniela Tomova

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(Apocalypse) Space-time anomalies are destroying the world. Some survivors live in “oases,” which are mostly protected but other walk the road following a mysterious woman. Mallow interviews a roadie to find out why. (6,300 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Signal, by John Lanchester

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(Horror) David takes his family for a weekend visit to the manor house of an old friend. He worries about a “tall man” who seems to be taking too much of an interest in his children. (6,497 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

The Sacrifice of the Hanged Monkey, by Minsoo Kang

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(Epic Fantasy) In which we learn how the priests of the Hanged Monkey whose name was Bob resisted the Sublime Empire’s conquest of their realm. (4,216 words; Time: 14m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

The Evaluators, by N.K. Jemisin

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(SF Horror) A crew on planet Manka has disappeared, possibly eaten by the natives. We read the transcripts to try to decide what happened. (3,132 words; Time: 10m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ It Gets You Gradually

Monday, December 4, 2017

Landmark, by Cassandra Khaw

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(Surreal SF) In which we learn that even in the very far future, long-distance relationships are hard to maintain. (1,627 words; Time: 05m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

Darkness, Our Mother, by Eleanna Castroianni

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(Surreal SF) A priesthood of mathematicians has kept the planet Cemar safe, but things have been safe for so long that some people think the priestesses themselves are the bigger danger. (5,219 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

Falling in Love with Martians and Machines, by Josh Pearce

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(Near-Future SF) Chromium Jim and Babe work their way north to Alaska by winning rocket-powered drag races along the way. (8,363 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

Crossing LaSalle, by Lettie Prell

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(Near-Future SF) Mara desperately wants to join the Newbodies, but they put her on the waiting list. There’s got to be another way in . . . (5,595 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

The Rains on Mars, by Natalia Theodoridou

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(SF Adventure) Mac’s team drills tunnels that will connect the big Martian bases together. He came to Mars to run away from his problems on Earth, but some problems come with you. (4,814 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Sunday, December 3, 2017

You Will Never Know What Opens, by Mari Ness

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(Portal Fantasy) Your house is full of doors to other worlds, and you can’t keep yourself from exploring them—even though they’re dangerous. (2,064 words; Time: 06m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average