Hugo 2019 Reading – October

It’s been a busy month. At least I have settled in to my writing schedule pretty nicely. I’m only writing 3 days a week, but I’m getting more total done than before, and I feel more relaxed about getting my chores done on the off days. Since its hard to break 1,000 words a day, I’m not doing NaNo, even if I was at a point where I was drafting more instead of editing. Perhaps next year when all my kids are at school full time I’ll get around to it. In the meantime, here’s what I read.

If Only Kissing Made it So” by Jason Kimble
a short story published by Cast of Wonders

The characterization of this first kiss story was good. I could really feel Martin’s desire and confusion over everything. The time travel bit was neat too, and it resolved paradoxes by making each day have to match up with what happened originally.

(5 stars) “Shod in Memories” by M.K. Hutchins
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

I enjoy fairy tale retellings, and this was no exception. I especially loved how Ella expressed disappointment that the prince didn’t recognize her the next day after dancing at the ball, and that the prince wasn’t in love after just one night. He went around the kingdom looking for her just because he wanted to ask her about her shoe. Very cute story.

“This Isn’t a Home, It’s a Wilderness” by Holly Lyn Walrath
a short story published by Flame Tree Press

This story will be on the Flame Tree Press website next month, so no link yet. I had a hard time getting into the story. It definitely feels like a metaphor for all the ills that went into colonizing here on Earth. So it was hard to care about any of the humans who traveled to this alien planet.

Fitting In” by Max Gladstone
a novelette by

Though I enjoy the Wild Cards universe, I found myself falling asleep while reading this, as I’ve not been sleeping well lately. So, the inability to pay attention spoiled my enjoyment of the story a bit. I do like the struggle to do good in mundane ways (as a guidance counselor at a middle school) as well as fantastic (busting a group of thugs that want to force a bakery to sell to them). Jan was hilarious.

The Multiverse of Michael Merriweather” by Stephen S. Power
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

This story felt like a series of vignettes than a real story. I do like alternate futures, but I felt a bit let down at the ending when we learned why someone was seeing all these different futures. I couldn’t see what had changed.

(5 stars) “STET” by Sarah Gailey
a short story published by Fireside Magazine

The desktop version of this story clues you in right away that this story is told in the footnotes and editorial notes and not the textbook text that is presented first in the mobile version. Since I first read this on my phone, I was a bit confused at first, and almost didn’t go read all the footnotes. I’m glad I did. It’s a haunting look at the ethics of training AI, and expectations on dealing with grief. And I thought the unusual form was great.

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