Hugo 2018 Reading – May

Yay, I feel like I’m finally getting into the groove of listening to podcasts! Just in time for my schedule to be completely upended by summer break. Well, I’m still hopeful that I’ll get some story reading in. And I’m excited that I found my first 5 star story for the year!

Bear Language” by Martin Cahill
a short story published by Fireside Fiction

This is a heavy story dealing with child abuse and alcoholism. It handled the topics well. I especially liked how Joanna’s perception of swearing evolved over the course of the story – at first she was able to filter the words out, but later, she couldn’t. I am glad that it ended on a hopeful note.

Piety, Prayer, Peacekeeper, Apocalypse” by Rati Mehrotra
a short story published by PodCastle

Some interesting magic and politics going on here. I just didn’t feel particularly drawn in to it. I don’t care for stories with seduction in them.

Soccer Fields and Frozen Lakes” by Greg Kurzawa
a short story published by Lightspeed

This story was a bit hard for me to understand in audio. I didn’t always catch when the letters were addressed to someone new. I wanted to understand more about what hybrids were, though I suppose that’s not important to the story. The pacing was a bit slow, I felt. I did like the twist ending, though.

Storytime at the White Hart” by Wm Henry Morris
a short story published by Big Echo

I am not familiar with Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Ultimate Melody”, which this story was inspired by, so it was hard for me to get much out of it. I find stories about guys chatting around a bar to be boring anyway.

(5 stars) “Auspicium Melioris Aevi” by JY Yang
a short story published by Uncanny

This was a story with a really interesting concept – clones live out scenes from their progenitor’s life in simulation, but one clone decides to make different choices, based on what he knows of the entirety of his progenitor’s life, and is punished for it. Really interesting look at Singapore’s history, and meritocracy.

To the Editors of The Matriarch, re: Allegations of Pressganging” by Matt Dovey
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

This alternate history doesn’t have anything flashy to set it apart from life as we know it, but it was a really interesting look at applying the rationale for rape (especially of women) to men being pressganged.

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