Hugo 2018 Reading – October

I’ve gotten into the swing of things with school starting this month. But I’ve gotten really far behind on my podcasts. So I spend a lot of time listening to Writing Excuses to catch up. I’m glad that I still managed to get my short stories in for the month. I actually liked them all. Just not quite enough to give any five stars.

Rain Ship” by Chi Hui
a novelette published by Clarkesworld

This story had an interesting world – rat-like aliens called Rudera are excavating spaceships left behind by “ancient [spacefaring] humans” which are now extinct. I also liked how the author used footnotes to explain the different customs the Rudera have so that the normal narrative could still flow seamlessly. It had mercenaries, pirates, backstabbing, making for an action-packed plot. I’m not sure why I didn’t completely connect with it. Maybe its how detached Jin was. It fits her, though.

The Lies I’ve Told to Keep You Safe” by Matt Dovey
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

This story packs quite a punch in a short space. The lies tell the story of the progression of an alien invasion of earth, and also indirectly comment on how short-term assuagement of these kinds of lies may not be best in the long run. There’s nothing really wrong with this story. I just wanted more from it, but for the form its in, it did a good job.

James, in the Golden Sunlight of the Hereafter” by Adam-Troy Castro
a short story published by Lightspeed

This story had some great description to it. It’s not how I believe in heaven and hell, so I had to set those aside for this story. It made me think about what paradise really means, and had a nice take. I felt like the pacing was a little slow than I prefer, which is why I didn’t give it a 5.

Bonsai” by Shaenon K. Garrity
a short story published by PodCastle

It took me awhile to realize that this story is told in second person. It works though, to give that feeling of detachment that comes with shock when you’ve received news of cancer while still feeling connected to the character. The treatment for cancer was quite innovative – grow a plant inside you that will feed on the tumor. It has a good callback to Greek myths. This is the story I’m most tempted to give 5 stars to. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the others I’ve given 5 stars. Maybe because I was wondering for awhile when the speculative element was going to come in.

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