Taxi service for body and mind…

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six // Clarkesworld Magazine #163, April 2020 

I will update this anthology as I go along…

AIRBODY by Sameem Siddiqui — renting the body of someone else via shared consiousness, nice idea with lots of possibilities. ★★★☆☆

I stand in front of the mirror as I clip the AirBody headset to the backs of my ears. It whirs on automatically—it doesn’t actually whir, but I imagine that’s the microscopic sound it makes as the violet light pulses. It authenticates my identity and says “Hello, Arsalan. Your AirBody guest is in the waiting area. Are you ready?”

Winner of the 2020 Clarkesworld Readers Poll
2021 Finalist for the Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award

Can be read for free here // Author‘s website

Singing wood

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six 

AN IMPORTANT FAILURE by Rebecca Campbell — superficially about the building of a violin and what type of wood makes it „open up“ and sing. Climate change, loss of physical things and loss of possibilities in our lives. Ends on a slightly hopeful note. Bittersweet.

The writing was a bit of a struggle for me, as it was very dense, detailed and „stream of consciousness“… ★★★¾☆

2021 WINNER: THEODORE A. STURGEON MEMORIAL AWARD
2021 FINALIST: AURORA AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE/NOVELLA

Can be read for free at Clarkesworld.

From the author‘s blog:

“Stelliform Press is going to publish my novella, Arboreality this autumn. It’s an expansion of my novelette “An Important Failure,” which was both challenging and wonderful. I got to return to characters and places I love, and explore the possibilities of a world that’s falling apart. Because new things grow out of the crumbles, don’t they? After the wild fires, the fireweed. “An Important Failure” was about a craftsman trying to preserve something precious while the world changed around. Arboreality has a few characters like that, but also characters who are picking up the remnants and making them into something new.“

https://whereishere.ca/2022/02/01/arboreality-2022/

February 2022 Wrap-up

Here is my February 2022. My page count is a bit lower this month, due to some distracting family issues. I couldn‘t concentrate on new stories and reverted to comfort re-reading quite a lot of older fanfiction early in the month, which I don‘t really track.

Empire of Wild ★★★★☆, ebook, TBR, slow burning horror, indigenous folklore about a Rogarou.
– Iterum ★★★★☆, Stargate Atlantis fanfic, McShep, re-read / comfort reading — and a ton of other Spirk and McShep fanfiction!
– Bots of The Lost Ark in Clarkesworld Magazine #177, June 2021 ★★★★☆, online novelette, bots run amok, aliens threaten, ship and humans need to be saved, little bot to the rescue.
Interview with the Vampire ★★★★☆, ebook, re-read after 30 years or so. Slow start, but re-discovered so many details that I had forgotten. Ultimately rewarding.
– Shadecraft #1 ★★★★★, eComic, online for free at Image Comics, YA, Zadie is being chased by shadows… good artwork.
Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System ★★★★☆, audio, non-fiction, entertaining tour through our solar system and a fascinating look at volcanoes.
– Saga #56 ★★★★★, eComic
– Wikihistory ★★★★☆, short story, online, amusing piss-take on time travel and Wikipedia.
– The Legacy by R.A. Salvatore ★★★¾☆ ebook, TBR / StoryGraphReading Randomizer February #1, dark elves and dwarves battling it out in a lot of deep tunnels.
– An Easy Job ★★★★☆, short story, online, prequel to Sinew and Steel and What They Told

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six (ongoing):
– SCAR TISSUE by Tobias S. Buckell – human MC fosters a robot. Is the mind just bolted into its carriage or the sum of a whole? And what does it mean to be raised and to learn from experience? Sweet story, I got pretty emotional. ★★★★★
– EYES OF THE FOREST by Ray Nayler – scouts in an alien and dangerous forest, very cool concepts. ★★★★½
– SINEW AND STEEL AND WHAT THEY TOLD by Carrie Vaughn – Graff faked his medical records and something really awkward is going to come out. ★★★★¾

StoryGraph Reading Randomizer / backlog:
– The Solitaire Mystery, paper, TBR / February StoryGraph #2, have to see when I can fit this in…

Specfic Movies & TV watched:
– For All Mankind, S1, Eps. 1-5 ★★★★☆

Planned for March:
Ring Shout, audio, started…
Mickey7, ebook, Netgalley owned and running late
Ogres, ebook, pub date 15.03., Netgalley owned
The Complete Angel Catbird, Angel Catbird #1-3, Margaret Atwood, comic, owned
– Saga #57, pub date 23.03., pre-ordered
– StoryGraph #1 Even The Wingless
– StoryGraph #2 The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear

I have been activated, therefore I have a purpose 

Clarkesworld Magazine #177, June 2021 by Neil Clarke (editor)

BOTS OF THE LOST ARK by Suzanne Palmer, 11080 WORDS, NOVELETTE

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bots run amok, aliens threaten, ship and humans need to be saved, little bot to the rescue.

Set on the same ship and following the adventures of the same little bot as HUGO-awarded The Secret Life if Bots, this is a fun and slightly absurd take on the currently abundant stories and novels about artificial intelligences.

I guess it is about time that I pick up one of her full-length novels.

Can be read for free here. Shamelessly stolen from that same page:


SUZANNE PALMER 
– WEBSITE

Suzanne Palmer is a writer and linux system administrator who lives in western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared frequently in Asimov’s and Analog, and her Clarkesworld story “The Secret Life of Bots” won the 2018 Hugo for Best Novelette. Her next novel, The Scavenger Door (book three of the Finder Chronicles), will be published by DAW in August 2021.

RELATED ENTRIES


In other news, I am in a bit of a reading slump. Real Life is a little extra hard right now. I turned to comfort reading and spent all weekend and Monday night with re-reading some of my favourite fanfiction. A little Spirk and a whole lot McShep.

I am still listening to the audio of Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System.

Further planned reading for February:
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six, ebook — this one will take most of the year.
Interview With The Vampire, ebook, re-read
– maybe A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, ebook
– Saga #56, pub date 23.02., comic
– StoryGraph Reading Randomizer #1 The Legacy, ebook, TBR
– StoryGraph Reading Randomizer #2 The Solitaire Mystery, paper, TBR

„Xiaolongbao: Soup Dumplings“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld

For fans of D.A. Xiaolin Spires…

Happy to announce that my story „Xiaolongbao: Soup Dumplings“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld Magazine. Also excited about Clarkesworld’s upcoming …

„Xiaolongbao: Soup Dumplings“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld!

I thought I would have several of her short stories on my shelf, but found only one:

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147
by Neil Clarke. (Editor),  D.A. Xiaolin Spires

Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, 3430 words, ★★★☆☆

A world that has gotten so gruesome and dilapidated that people on their daily commute use visual and auditory enhancements to see a more appealing world. I did not like the storytelling much per se, but the idea was interesting enough.

She herself called this her augmented reality holiday story at her blog. She also mentions being inspired by another short story, Stepping Out Of Stream by Marie Vibbert. Although that one was even shorter, I liked it more for where it took me as a reader.

Can be found for free here

July 2020 Wrap-Up

My July 2020:

BR novels:
– Limit, BR with Dennis, TBR challenge, ongoing & carry-over into August
– The Traitor Baru Cormorant, BR, ongoing & carry-over into August

– Dragonflight, as part of The Dragonriders of Pern, ★★★★☆, in the beginning there was a queen‘s dragon egg… Who wants to continue with this series?
– The City We Became, June SF GR, audible, ★★☆☆☆, not for me.

Solo reads:
– Lullaby for a Lost World, short, ★★★★★, magic comes at a high price. Vengeance!
– Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, HarryPotterAtHome, read by various actors (https://www.wizardingworld.com/chapters), TBR challenge (most reviews/highest ratings), ★★★★☆, #HarryPotterAtHome
– Dwarf Stars 2020, poetry, ★★★★☆, SF poems of 10 lines or less.
– Grace Immaculate, short, ★★★★☆, first contact via SETI, alien aliens…
– Wohllebens Waldführer: Tiere & Pflanzen bestimmen, das Ökosystem entdecken, nonfiction, ★★★★☆, easy guide about 250 species of plants and animals in central Europe.
– David‘s Head, in Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 156, ★★★★☆, short story about a roadtrip with an AI
– 2389, ★★★☆☆, space horror brain candy.
– Das Seelenleben der Tiere: Liebe, Trauer, Mitgefühl – erstaunliche Einblicke in eine verborgene Welt, nonfiction, ★★★☆☆, the inner life of animals, pop science.

Comics, aka my guilty pleasure:
– Skyward #13, ★★★☆☆
– Skyward #14, ★★★☆☆
– Skyward #15, ★★★½☆, the end!
– Ascender #6, ★★★★☆
– Ascender #7, ★★★★½
– Sea of Stars #1, ★★★½☆
– Black Science #1, ★★☆☆☆, Lost in Space, travelling other dimensions.

Wanted to read, but didn‘t:
– Unconquerable Sun, BR, wasn‘t that interested anymore
– Ascender, Vol. 2: The Dead Sea, #8, 9 & 10, plan to read it eventually…

Skyward #13 by Joe Henderson Skyward #14 by Joe Henderson Skyward #15 by Joe Henderson Ascender #6 by Jeff Lemire Ascender #7 by Jeff Lemire Sea of Stars #1 by Jason Aaron Black Science #1 by Rick Remender 
Dragonflight (Pern Dragonriders of Pern, #1) by Anne McCaffrey Dwarf Stars 2020 by Robin Mayhall Grace Immaculate by Gregory Benford Wohllebens Waldführer Tiere & Pflanzen bestimmen, das Ökosystem entdecken by Peter Wohlleben 2389 by Iain Rob Wright Lullaby for a Lost World by Aliette de Bodard 
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling Das Seelenleben der Tiere Liebe, Trauer, Mitgefühl - erstaunliche Einblicke in eine verborgene Welt by Peter Wohlleben Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 156 by Neil Clarke 

Plans for August:
I am in the middle of several things that I need to finish. Plus there is a vague committment to read Shark Week related stuff… 😝

„Mamaborg’s Milk and the Brilliance of Gems“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld!

I am happy to announce that my short story, „Mamaborg’s Milk and the Brilliance of Gems,“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld! —with thanks to Neil Clarke…

„Mamaborg’s Milk and the Brilliance of Gems“ is forthcoming in Clarkesworld!

Just in case you are following this author… I am struggling to pin down, what I have read already. One story that I did find was this:

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147
by Neil Clarke

Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, 3430 words, ★★★☆☆
A world that has gotten so gruesome and dilapidated that people on their daily commute use visual and auditory enhancements to see a more appealing world. I did not like the storytelling much per se, but the idea was interesting enough.

She herself calls this her augmented reality holiday story at her blog

She also mentions being inspired by another short story. Although that one was even shorter, I liked it more for where it took me as a reader.

Can be found for free here

Shorter lives

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth by DOUG DLUZEN, 2.561 words, ★★★☆☆

Non-fiction. About longevity and aging interventions.

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/dluze…

————
Two-Year Man by KELLY ROBSON, 4.692 words, ★★★☆☆

Dystopian story. Bleak society, a lab growing babies, pretty depressing, little hope.

Can be read for free at Clarkesworld here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/robso…
Or at the author‘s website: https://kellyrobson.com/two-year-man/

————
Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by ZHANG RAN, 12.586 words, ★★★★☆

Exploration of the possible ways a time traveler can diverge from the main path. With sketches. Pretty interesting, unfortunately with an unsatisfactory ending.

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/zhang…

————
The Names and Motions by SHELDON J. PACOTTI, 7026 words, ★☆☆☆☆

Frankly, I didn‘t get it. Not for me.

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/pacot…

————
When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI, 10080 words, ★★★½☆
„A race of bird-people is forced to save mankind from extinction. Contemplating gender, procreation, duty and intimacy through the eyes of an agender, asexual protagonist. Family, friendship, love, oppression and rebellion in a half-ruined world.“

Hm, odd. The Voices are something that is taken from the bird-people after birth. Voices provide energy. Nuclear fission? Not quite sure what to make of it. Interesting, uncomfortable. Not sure it all makes sense. I have a unscientific image of how the making of an egg could look like, but can‘t think of a way this could actually work. Worth reading just for the oddness of it.

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/castr…

„Eleanna Castroianni is a genderqueer writer, poet and oral storyteller from Greece. A cultural geographer by training, Eleanna tells stories from the margins of history and the far futures of the Anthropocene. They live in Athens, Greece with a number of string instruments.“
Author‘s website: https://eleannacastroianni.wordpress.com

————
Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO, 11088 words, ★★★★★
Climatefic. The world has turned grey, the rich live under domes, the poor struggle with acid rain and collect clean air from high up to earn a living. USA, China, politics… Very good!

Can be found for free here

————
Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, 3430 words, ★★★☆☆
A world that has gotten so gruesome and dilapidated that people on their daily commute use visual and auditory enhancements to see a more appealing world. I did not like the storytelling much per se, but the idea was interesting enough.

She herself calls this her augmented reality holiday story at her blog

She also mentions being inspired by another short story. Although that one was even shorter, I liked it more for where it took me as a reader.

Can be found for free here

View all my reviews

More than survival

Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 145Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 145 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review for When We Were Starless by SIMONE HELLER, 13204 words, ~29 p., ★★★★☆

“When we set out to weave a new world from the old, broken one, we knew we pledged the lives of our clutches and our clutches’ clutches to wandering the wastes.“

Bipedal lizards living in a post-apocalyptic, lost world. A possibly human race has left behind remnants of their technology. Nomadic tribes just barely manage to survive in a bleak, dangerous and hopeless world. A meeting and forbidden aquaintance changes the world.

Not easy to get into, as the world is only explained in brief strokes and the aliens are, well, alien. A story about hope and about wanting more than the status quo and mere subsistence.

I liked it, I think—I am still mulling it over. The ending and last paragraph was a bit too abrupt and brief for my taste.

2019 FINALIST: THEODORE A. STURGEON MEMORIAL AWARD, 2019 FINALIST: HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE, 2019 FINALIST: EUGIE FOSTER MEMORIAL AWARD

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/helle…

The author‘s German blog: https://www.simone-heller.de/epiblog/
And her English blog: https://missnavigator.com

View all my reviews

Seeing is believing?

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 50 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #50)Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 50 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review for SEEING, GENEVIEVE VALENTINE, ~12 p., ★★★★★
After it was over, they pulled her from the sea.

I was very confused at first. Something pre-apocalyptic? Maye a dystopia? I felt the urge to go and study astrophysics, to understand what was going on. It took a moment, but I ended up really liking this. Not an easy story.

I think this is a story you need to read twice to make sense of it. Layers upon layers. In retrospect, skimming the story a second time, I am upgrading this to 5 stars. A lot going on for a mere 12 pages!

Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/valen…

About the author: https://www.genevievevalentine.com/ab…

View all my reviews