Hugo Reading 2021 – April

Though I haven’t posted here, I’ve been able to find a writing time that works for me – in the morning before kids get up. I’ve been locking my door to enforce me being left alone until 7am, and with that, I’ve gotten my MLB entry ready for submission. I’ve also been attending an online writing workshop and an online writing conference, and am excited to put the tools I’m learning to use.

But first, what I’ve been reading:

Mandorla” by Cooper Shrivastava
a short story published by Clarkesworld

This is an allegory of different perspectives and climate change. It’s a slow story, and the topic isn’t one I’m particularly interested in. The prose has a rich quality to it as it describes seasons that come and go.

Tend to Me” by Kristina Ten
a short story published by Lightspeed

This was a fun story that twisted in ways I didn’t expect. It seems like turning into a cactus would present more problems than the story covered, but those that did come up were interesting.

White Noon” by Aidan Doyle
a short story published by PodCastle

The setting was fun in this story – a Nordic Western. (Though in my head, I was picturing Alaska more than Norway). The voice added a great charm, which the podcast narrator did a great job bringing out. I liked that the story was about a woman who wanted a quiet life, against the ideals of her sisters. I did wonder if Elin shouldn’t have more reaction to killing a man, since her weapon had only a one time use, but it worked.

(5 stars) “The Longest Season in the Garden of the Tea-Fish” by Jo Miles
a short story published by Strange Horizons

I really felt pulled into this story, and not just because it parallels self-isolation. The world of these tree-people who depend on tea-fish to live was richly described, as was the danger from nearly all the tea-fish dying in an accident. I did wonder why Elja didn’t wake one other person to help her after the first year when some fish survived, though definitely not enough to revive the whole people, but I suppose it would have been too much heartache to not wake up her daughter, and her daughter had asked to be the last woken due to causing the accident. Great emotion.

Advice for Newbies at WoodCon” by Dan McMinn
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

I thought this story was going to be about a fantasy con, with magical wood working, so I was disappointed to see that this was really a parody of advice given to writers for writing conferences. I did find the final bit of advice funny, as various woodworkers gave advice on which specific wood to use for something as unassuming as a napkin holder.

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