Hugo 2019 Reading – June

School’s out, summer’s here, and I’m trying to get the motivation to keep up on everything. Some days are better than others. I listened to some good fiction last month, though.

(5 stars) “Ana’s Asteroid” by M. K. Hutchins
a short story published by Cast of Wonders

I read a draft of this story in novel form. I’m so glad that Hutchins was able to find a way to tell this story, even if it didn’t work as a novel. The hard sci-fi was interesting. I do wonder about how fragile the air tube was, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story. I do really like how it had to be a kid save the day, and how the parents had to deal with that and let Ana risk herself.

The History of the Mermaid Socialist Revolution” by Rebecca DeVendra
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

The title of this story had me thinking that it would end with the mermaids breaking out of captivity. Instead, it ends on a darker note, commentary about how those in horrible conditions can be powerless to change their circumstances.

Cold Blue Sky” by J.E. Bates
a short story published by Apex Magazine

As a Computer Scientist, I really enjoyed this hard-scifi look at androids and hacking. It is much more realistic and detailed than portrayed in movies. Quite a fun heist story. I do have to laugh at the “but we looked at every byte” line, because as Kiro showed, malware can hide with just a little obfuscation.

The Weaver and the Snake” by Blaine Vitallo
a short story published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I didn’t care much for this story. I never connected to Reilitas. She felt too aloof. The city eating snake was interesting, but we never saw it directly, which saddened me. The themes are more literary, which doesn’t interest me as much.

(5 stars) “Sidekicks Wanted” by Laura Johnson
a short story published by Cast of Wonders

I love stories about superheroes and sidekicks, so this story was right up my alley. It was amusing, and a delightful mashup of the fantastic and mundane. Frank was a solid character, with his desires leading him to seek an unconventional position.

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