I’ve been reading like crazy because it’s award season. I wanted to share some links that I thought people might like.
I feel like it was a really good year for published sf/f. I found lots of stories I’m enthusiastic about, and lots of new authors. Discovering great new fiction and great new authors is one of life’s pleasures, I think, so I’m eager to share!
“Flying in the Face of God” by Nina Allen – My favorite novelette of the year; I’m really pleased it’s online. About alienation and the way people change, and how it is that some people go and others stay.
“The Life Cycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang – This stunning novella considers the invention of artificial intelligence not as something that changes the world, but as something much more mundane–sentience that humans would abuse or ignore, the way we abuse or ignore zoo animals. Intensely detailed, immensely fascinating.
“The History within Us” by Matt Kressel – I’m not sure how this one will come across to readers who aren’t steeped in the science fiction tradition. I’d be interested to know whether the themes come across, or whether it’s just confusing. Anyway, I recommend people check it out, it’s weird and strange and wonderful, and of particular interest for the way it deals with genocide and memory. I reprinted this in the anthology of the decade’s best science fiction and fantasy that Sean Wallace and I edited this year.
“On the Banks of the River Lex” by N. K. Jemisin – Death wanders an empty New York.
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson – Short, intense burst of surrealism.
“Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters” by Alice Sola Kim – Funny, interesting, unusual. Time travel shown through a series of broken images.
“The Ghosts of New York” by Jennifer Pelland – Contemplating how views of 9/11 have changed and are changing.
“Surrogates” by Cat Rambo – A science fictional look at alienation in marriage.
“Standard Loneliness Package” by Charles Yu – Science fiction tropes applied, via metafiction, to outsourcing. Very smart fiction, intricately layered characterization.