short story


Collects 30 steampunk short stories.

12377549

Format: print

Publisher: Robinson

Page count: 498

Publishing year: 2012

Fixing Hanover by Jeff VanderMeer: The main character works as a blacksmith in a remote village. He’s running away from his past. When a metal man is found washed up at the shore, the MC has a bad feeling about it. But the village council’s leader orders the MC to fix it.


The Steam Dancer (1896) by Caitlin R. Kierman: Missouri Banks lost an eye and a leg to a disease when she was young. But a mechanic found her and fell in love with her. He gave her a mechanical leg and an eye. Now they’re married and Missouri loves to dance at the local brothel.

Icebreaker by E. Catherine Tobler: Muriel is the widow of a famous adventurer and inventor. She’s determined to bury her husband’s remains in the frozen north. But the sea has monsters.


Tom Edison and his amazing telegraphic harpoon by Jay Lake: Tom Edison and his freedman and friend Salmon Goodberry live in the moving steam city of City of Hoboken. The shores of Mississippi are dangerous not just because of the natives but Clarke’s Army which has now recruited flying monsters out of the Bible.


The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball by Genevieve Valentine: The Zeppelin Conductors have lived in the helium balloon so long that their bodies have grown long, and in the eyes of society, deformed. They can only be at peace among their own kind.


Clockwork Fairies by Cat Rambo: Claude is a very proper professor at a London university. He’s engaged with a mixed-race daughter of an Earl. She’s also an engineer and inventor but he thinks that she will grow out of it once they have children. Because she’s mixed race, she thinks she doesn’t really have any other choice but to marry Claude. But does she?


The mechanical aviary of Emperor Jala-ud-din Muhammad Akbar by Shweta Narayan: The Emperor of the World has subjects both made of flesh and metal. But his prized possession is his mechanical aviary where his clockwork smith works. She’s a mechanical bird herself. Told in a fable style.


Prayers of Forges and Furnaces by Aliette de Bodard: The short story is set in a future where mechanical gods have overthrown the Aztec empire’s blood-thirsty gods. Xochipil has a lame leg and because of that the only work she can get is scavenging from the surface of the earth. One day, a stranger from the outside comes to her.


The effluent engine by N.K. Jemisin: In this alternate universe short story, Haiti is a free nation because it can build airships. But they know they can’t do that for long. So they send a spy to New Orleans to ask for aid from an inventor so that he can build a machine to make a better source of energy.

The clockwork goat and the smokestack magi by Peter M. Ball: Another story told as a fable. A clockwork goat comes to the door of the Smokestack Magi, bringing an offer of truce from the Magi’s enemy. But the Magi is suspicious and takes too long to decide what to do.


The Armature of Flight by Sharon Mock: Leo is the son of a Lord and in time he’s expeted to marry and produce an heir. But while he’s still relatively free, he can enjoy his male lover. Leo ignores the future but his lover must have a plan for it.

The Anachronist’s Cookbook by Catherynne M. Valente: Jane Swallow is an orphan, a pickpocket, a former prisoner. She also distributes pamphlets to wake up the exploited people to rise up against their rich oppressors.


Numismatics in the Reigns of Naranh and Viu by Alex Dally MacFarlane: The story of a nation told through different coins. A sister and brother ruled for a day but then the brother rose against the sister who was forced to flee. She recruits people to her cause through coins. Her cause is to give the gifts from the steam gods freely to everyone, while her brother would like to keep them for himself.

Zeppelin City by Eileen Gunn & Michael Swanwick: The Naked Brains control Zeppelin City from their Zeppelins. The city’s most favored sport is autogyro racing. Amelia Spindizzy is one of the best racers, a real daredevil. But when she gets ready for her newest race, the Brains require her autogyro to be changed and she doesn’t like that. Radio Jones is a poor woman but she’s also an inventor. Her newest invention, a universal radio receiver, could change communication for everyone. Red Rudy tries to recruit people to join the revolution against the oppressive Brains.

The People’s Machine by Tobias S. Buckell: Ixtli is a priest and an inquisitor. It’s his job to hunt down anyone who still practices the bloody rites of the old Aztec gods. Now, someone has killed a young man in New Amsterdam in a way that suggests a heretic. The Mexica government sends Ixtli to find out the truth.

The hands that feed by Matthew Kressel: Jessica Rosen owns a pawn shop in a steampunk Manhattan. She has made seven small mechanical creatures which she sends out in the evening. By day, young and beautiful Divya helps her in the shop. Divya is engaged to a corrupt man who wants to become the Mayor. He despises Jessica and all Jewish people and wants to shut down the pawn shops. Jessica loves Divya but doesn’t know if they could have a future together.

Machine Maid by Margo Lanagan: The main character is a young woman who is very interested in mechanics and mechanical people. However, her mother forbids her to even read about such un-ladylike things. The main character married a rich cattle rancher despite the fact that she despises him. She also dislikes their home at the frontier. When her husband goes away for several weeks, she starts to tinker with her very lifelike machine maid. What she finds, surprises and enrages her.

To Follow the Waves by Amal El-Mohtar: Hessa is a dream sculptor. She builds a dream in her mind and puts it into a jewel so someone else can dream it. But now a very highborn client wants a dream about the sea. Unfortunately, Hessa has never been to the sea. She tries everything she can think of to try to invoke strong warm feelings about the sea. But then she sees a mysterious, beautiful woman in a cafe and can’t stop thinking about her.

Clockmaker’s Requiem by Barth Anderson: Krina is a clockmaker. In this world, clocks make individual time. But now an apprentice has invented a clock that can count time for everyone. Krina knows that it will destroy the world.

Dr. Lash remembers by Jeffrey Ford: A strange sickness has taken many of Dr. Lash’s patients and he can’t do anything about it. Still, he relieves their pain as much as he can. A trusted colleague tells him that the steam engines are producing the gas that makes people ill. Unfortunately, the government isn’t going to stop using the engines. Also, some people hallucinate before they die.

Lady Witherspoon’s Solution by James Morrow: A ship captain finds a paradise-like island where Neantherdals still live. But one of the Neantherdals has a journal that reveals a darker story.


Reluctance by Cherie Priest: Walter McMullin is a teenaged boy, a former soldier, and now he flies mail in a single-seater airship. One of his legs is mechanical. When the night starts to fall and his ship starts to lose fuel, he lands in a small town called Reluctance. But nobody is around.

A Serpent in the Gears by Margaret Ronald: A scientific expedition is flying to the isolated, almost mythical land of Aaris. But on this ship, few people are who they say they are.


The Celebrated Carousel of the Margravine of Blois by Megan Arkenberg: Antoine de Saint-Pierre travels to Summerfall house which the ghost of Margravine of Blois is supposed to haunt. The story is told through de Saint-Pierre’s diary entries.

Biographical notes to ”A discourse on the nature of causality, with air-planes” by Benjamin Rosenbaum by Benjamin Rosenbaum: Benjamin Rosenbaum is traveling on an airship and meets a Raja, a prince, who wants Ben to come to his country. Before Ben can decide what to do, an assassin attacks. Ben is a writer of plausible fables and he thinks a lot. Even in the middle of chasing the assassin, he thinks about philosophy. The world-building, which has Eastern steampunk, was interesting but the philosophy in the middle of actions scenes was a poor fit.

Clockwork Chickadee by Mary Robinette Kowal: The Chickadee can’t fly but a clockwork Sparrow can. The Sparrow constantly talks about himself as better than the others. The Chickadee has a plan to change that.


Cinderella Suicide by Samantha Henderson: The main character, Cinderella Superstar, and his three teammates are convicts in Australia. They’ve done their time and are now looking for a better-paying job.

Arbeitskraft by Nick Mamatas: It’s near the end of the 19th century. Karl Marx has just died but his friend Friedrich Engels is determined to continue speaking and acting for the proletariat. He’s also building a Dialectical Engine in his factory, hoping to rebuild Marx’s brain. Meanwhile, he realizes that some of the young girls working in match factories have been turned into monsters. When the phosphorus eats away the girls’ jaws, their employer, Bryant and May, have replaced flesh and blood with steel. Also, steam workers have started to replace human workers in the factories. This story deals with lots of issues.

To seek her fortune by Nicole Kornher-Stace: The Lady Explorer flies around the world in her airship with her son and her crew, looking for a fortune-teller who will tell her a death that she can accept.

The Ballad of the last human by Lavie Tidhar: Chancer is an adventurer, a philosopher, a trader, and occasionally a thief. He’s also a dog. He travels all over the world in his airship, trading or stealing. Then he meets Mot, a spider. Mot knows where the treasure is hidden and they agree to look for it.

This was a very interesting collection. Some of them are more slice-of-life stories and one is even a detective story. But most of them have themes of battling racism, classism, or sexism, as the punk aspect of steampunk. Some of them have societies in an uproar. However, the back cover says that the stories have “technology used to uplift rather than to oppress” and most don’t. Usually, only the rich and powerful get the benefits and the rest are left to starve or are even mutilated.

Some of the stories have very interesting alternative worlds that I’d love to read more about, such as “The Clockwork Fairies”, “the Effluent Engine”, “the People’s Machine”, “Biographical Notes to ”A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with air-planes” by Benjamin Rosenbaum”, “To Follow the Waves”, and “A Serpent in the Gears”. “Zeppelin City” was great but felt like it was a novel squeezed into a short story. Many of the stories are set in different worlds than the typical Victorian age. So, the stories are quite different from each other and show how different steampunk can be.

Collects four short stories.

209712

Publication year: 1991

Format: Audio

Running time: 3 hours, 2 minutes
Narrator: Connie Willis

“Even the Queen”: Tracey’s daughter has chosen to join the Cyclists and the whole family is in an uproar. Tracey’s mom is especially upset and tries to make Tracey talk her out of it. After all, Tracey is a judge and should be able to prevent her own daughter from doing stupid things.

Winner, 1992 Nebula Award and 1993 Hugo Award, Best Short Story.

“At the Rialto”: Dr. Ruth Barringer is one the physicists who have arrived in Hollywood for a quantum physics conference. She’s trying to get into her room but the receptionist who is really an actress/model gets confused. Also, Ruth is trying to avoid David who draws her into distractions like moonlight walks rather than attending the lectures.

Winner, 1989 Nebula Award, Best Short Story.

“Death on the Nile”: The MC, her husband Neal, and a group of friends are going to Egypt for a vacation. But one of MC’s friends is trying to seduce Neal and that’s just the first thing that goes wrong. I enjoyed the excerpts from the “Egypt Made Easy” tour guide.
Winner, 1994 Hugo Award, Best Short Story.

“Why the World Didn’t End Last Tuesday”: A committee tries to plan Armageddon.

“Close Encounter”: The main character is in a hospital heavily drugged.

These were funny and fun short stories and easy to listen to. The first one was the best but I also really enjoyed “Death on the Nile”.

A collection of SF short stories, novellettes, and two novellas. The second book in an SF anthology series.

58231577

Format: ebook

Publisher: WMG Publishing

Pagecount from GoodReads: 590

Publishing year: 2021

The theme of the collection is aliens and in almost every story there are, indeed, aliens. But they’re not always in the center of the story. In fact, many of these stories feature aliens in an unconventional way. I was a bit disappointed that none of Rusch’s creepy and wonderful aliens from her Retrieval Artist series made it. But I ended up enjoying the stories. There were just different than what I expected.

Dean Wesley Smith

My Socks Rolled Down (2011): The main character has just one pair of Magic Socks. He has had them almost since he was born. Now, he’s watching the lottery on TV and his Magic Socks are going wild.

The Great Alien Vibration (2015): Jimmy has finally asked out his work colleague, Stephanie. They’re going to a mystery movie where Jimmy is the only man in the audience but that’s fine by him.

Sighed the Snake [Poker Boy • 7] (2010): Aliens last visited Earth in the late 1950s. Now they’re back and Poker Boy and his trusty sidekick and girlfriend Front Desk Girl must deal with them. The aliens love to gamble, that’s why they’ve returned to Las Vegas. It’s Poker Boy versus a sneaky alien at the poker table.

A Deal at the End of Time [The Seeders Universe] (2017) : When the Event killed off most of the people on Earth, Parker had been happily married and teaching law. Now, he lives alone and runs the End of Time Bar, Saloon, and Eatery. He’s mostly accepted the new normal. But then a beautiful woman appears right in his kitchen.

Me and Beans and Great Big Melons (2008): Innis is just looking for a hamburger and beer to watch a game. He never expected to run into an alien in the local supermarket.


Who’s Holding Donna Now? (2014): When three aliens start to gamble at Sandy’s bar, the owner gets really bad feeling about it.

Love with the Proper Napkin (1994): Two people write things on napkins in a bar. A hilarious story.


Dried Up [Poker Boy • 15] (2011): Poker Boy and his girlfriend Front Desk Girl wake up to electric static in their bed. Two gray-skinned beings with huge eyes stand next to them. The Silicon Suckers look like the Grays but they’ve lived on Earth longer than humans. They’re also quite powerful so Poker Boy is worried at first. But it turns out that they need his help.


The Last Man [Buckey the Space Pirate] (2017): Buckey goes into a simple costume pasty, expecting it to be boring. After all, it’s not an SF convention. Instead, he comes face to face with Maiden Molly, the Sex Queen of the planet Frost. She’s looking for the last man on Earth. Buckey jumps right to the chance.


Dinner on a Flying Saucer (2008) (a variant of Dinner on a Flyin’ Saucer): The nameless main character stumbles back home at 3 am, smelling of whisky and little red marks on his shirt collar. When he explains to his wife that little grey men had abducted him and served him dinner on their flying saucer, she doesn’t believe him.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Skin Deep (1988): Cullaene lives among the human colonists but hides his true self. When a group of people comes to question him about a body they found, Cullaene realizes he needs to leave, once again. But his human friend’s daughter is showing symptoms and without treatment, she will be disfigured or maybe she’ll even die. Cullaene could help her, but it could cost him his life.


Alien Influences [Alien Influences] (1992) / novelette: A continuation of the novellette Dancers Like Children in the first volume. John grew up in the colony Bountiful and the alien Dancers influenced him so much that he, and the other children, did crimes without realizing it. Now, John is an adult and a bounty hunter. A very rich client wants to hire him to find a stolen art object. The money is too good to pass up. But in order to solve the theft, John must face his past.

Glass Walls (1994): Beth is another one of the children of Bountiful, influenced by the alien Dancers. Now, she works at an interstellar hotel, sometimes with aliens. She and the staff makes sure that the guests get everything they want, including sex. She makes herself live in the now, like a Dancer, so the aliens wouldn’t influence her. But then a baby Minaran is brought to the hotel. Minaras are endangered, protected spiecies, so the Minaran shouldn’t be there, must less in full view of everyone.


The Injustice Collector (2005) / novelette: Humans have landed on an alien planet. The local people aren’t curious about them but indulge in the humans’ strange customs. However, something goes seriously wrong, children die, and the locals send for a Justice/Injustice hearing. The hearing is quite different from what humans are expecting. The story is the Injustice Collector’s record of the proceedings to a review board.


Broken Windchimes (2009) / novella: The main character is a human singer who lives among the alien Pané. The Pané have very sensitive hearing. They find human male sopranos very pleasant, but they demand perfection. The main character is a star: he has been singing for them for 22 years, ever since he was a small child. Now, his voice breaks.

Bonding (1999) / novelette: Marisa is an undercover agent and enjoys her life without any close ties. She’s one of the best, choosing her assignments. This time she’s after people who illegally capture and sell alien animals, the Ce’nark. The animals thrive in cold. The job goes sour when a young Ce’nark accidentally bonds with Marisa. It will die if the bondmate leaves it alone. Now, she must care for a vulnerable young animal. Luckily, it’s possible that the Ce’nark’s tribe could be nearby and they could accept the youngster back. If Marisa can find them on a frozen planet.


What Fluffy Knew (1998): A fun story told from the POV of a cat. Fluffy is a princess, a big white cat. Everything is right in her world: she has food, people to pet her, and comfortable places to sleep in. Then they came and everything changed.

Blind (1999) / novella: When Scott was ten years old, he and his older brother Richard snuck into the woods. In a fairy circle, they thought they saw a face in a fog, and Scott took pictures of it. Supernatural aficionados around the world took an interest and Richard was happy to be interviewed, but Scott wasn’t. Richard was convinced that a UFO was in the woods but Scott didn’t believe that. Later, Scott went to MIT and got so rich he could retire while Richard stayed in their home village and raised a family. Now, Richard is dead of exposure in the woods. Everyone believes he was cheating on his wife but Scott is convinced that something else happened. He investigates.


Fit to Print (1997) / novelette: Frank Butler is a veteran New York Times journalist. His grandmother came from a secluded little town of Bonner Bay. Frank loves it and still goes there every summer during his vacation. But this time something has changed. Small, strange pictures have been taped to many windows: a tiny person in a circle floating on the crest of a wave. Frank asks the mayor what is going on. She’s reluctant to tell him because he’s a reporter. But finally, she admits: aliens have arrived to Bonner Bay.


The End of the World (2007) / novella: A little girl is separated from her Momma in a frightened crowd. The girl is terrified but tries to do as she has been instructed: to change herself to resemble the sidewalk where she’s laying. But she’s so scared she’s not sure if it will work.

A hundred years later, a small-town detective Becca Keller gets a strange call from her ex and goes to meet him. His company is renovating an old building. And they’ve found a mass grave. It must be a hundred years old but a smell still lingers.

The two plotlines seem separate at first, but pretty soon I guessed how they would connect. Hope is a town with a proud history of accepting the black and the Chinese at a time when most of the US wouldn’t accept them. So, when a mass grave is found, that threatens to shake the whole town. Becca’s ex has also invested a lot of money in the renovation site and could go bankrupt.

Meanwhile, a hundred years ago, the little girl’s family is very different from the local people and they must always be alert for trouble. But at the beginning of the story, the girl is separated from them in a crowd that has grown violent.

At least in these stories, the writers have quite different styles. Rusch writes longer stories and they’re often more somber, melancholy, even pessimistic in tone. Since the stories are longer, she also focuses more on worldbuilding. Smith writes shorter and in a more humorous way. Some of them are quite whimsical and have less conventional aliens. I enjoyed both styles.

A collection of fantasy and SF short stories. Originally published as a hardcover, this is the third softcover.

21531493

Format: print

Publisher: TOR

Page count: 370

Publishing year: 2014

Bombshells by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files): Harry Dresden’s apprentice Molly has had a hard time after Harry died. She’s trying to take over for Harry as a wizard but thinks that she’s not good enough. Then one of her friends asks for help searching for a missing boyfriend, who is a vampire.

I enjoyed this story, although the three dangerous women used their looks and breasts a bit too much to be taken seriously.


City Lazarus by Diana Rowland: Danny is a corrupt cop in New Orleans. Ever since the river left, the city has become a cesspool for criminals, the desperate, and a few very rich men. Danny works for one of the rich men. But then he meets a woman, a stripper, and starts to have feelings for her.

This one didn’t really have a dangerous woman, except as a manipulator.


Hell Hath No Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Four friends are looking for ghosts, real ones. They arrive at an abandoned town with their equipment. However, one of the four has actual psychic powers and makes contact with the ghost who is very angry.

This has a very familiar storyline, but I enjoyed the ghost and her story.


Some Desperado by Joe Abercrombie (Red Country): Shy’s have a really bad day. Her horse just fell and died. Her band of desperados has turned on her and is hunting her. She runs to a town, hoping to get help, but it’s abandoned. She has only a knife and her wits to defend herself.

The most action-packed story in the collection with a great Western setting.

The Hands That Are Not There by Melinda Snodgrass (Imperials): The only SF story in the collection. The main character is depressed about his chances of getting a promotion because of his low birth. But an older man in the bar tells his story of how things could be much worse.

Another one where the woman is a manipulator, using her looks and sex. The SF setting seems rather dated with women as stay-at-home moms or whores and advancement at least in the military is based on family connections.

Caretakers by Pat Cadigan: Val is in her mid-fifties and lives with her sister Gloria who is 15 years younger. Their mother has dementia and lives in an assisted living home. Gloria has always been pretty aimless. Val is relieved with Gloria starts to volunteer at their mom’s home. But then Gloria becomes convinced that something strange is going on at the home and Val doesn’t believe her.

This was strange. Once again, the dangerous woman was a minor secondary character. The main tension was between Val and her sister.


Novella: Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson (The Cosmere): Silence runs a waystop in the Forests of Hell where the shades of dead people hunt the living. Secretly, she’s also a bounty hunter. When a ruthless criminal with a huge bounty on his head steps into her station, Silence is determined to get him. She also has a far more personal reason to take him down. It’s going to be a hard battle.

This was the best story in the collection. The setting is great. The Forests have shades who can kill and maim if you don’t obey the three rules: don’t kindle flame, don’t shed the blood of another, and don’t run at night. Silence is also a great character.

The stories were different than what I was expecting. I guess after watching Xena and Buffy I’m just not that interested in female characters whose only option is to use their looks and sex to get what they want. Still, it has a couple of good stories, too.

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch have another interesting Kickstarter project: Make 100 Fantasy Stories: Fantasies Collide.

For over four decades, New York Times and USA Today bestselling writers Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have been writing professional fantasy novels and short stories that have won awards and sold millions of copies, plus the books and stories have been acclaimed and enjoyed by fans over the entire world.

Now, for the first time, Kris and Dean are collecting 100 of their fantasy short stories together into a five-volume set called FANTASIES COLLIDE. Fifty stories from each author, ten stories per volume per author.

It has already reached the third stretch goal which means more books for readers and writing classes for writers! Among the pledges are two unique writing workshops: Found Fantasy and How to create fantasy from your life. 10 days to go.

A collection of Star Trek short stories written by Star Trek fans.

854536

Publishing year: 1998

Format: Print

Publisher: Pocket Books

Page count: 457

This is the first fan fiction collection that Pocket Books published. It spans four Trek series: Original, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. The stories are written for people who know and love Trek. The writers also clearly love the shows.

Original Star Trek

Landon Cary Dalton: A Private Anecdote: Christopher Pike is in a wheelchair, unable to say anything else than yes or no. He thinks about his past and if any of this is real.

Keith L. Davis: The Last Tribble: Cyrano Jones was caught smuggling tribbles. He’s been working for twenty years cleaning the station of them. Now, the last tribble is almost in his hands.

Phaedra M. Weldon: Lights in the Sky: Years ago, Shahna was a drill thrall on the planet Triskelion.

Now, she’s the ambassador from her planet. She’s come to the Federation to negotiate aid after a Romulan attack on her planet. She also wants to meet Kirk again.

Dayton Ward: Reflections: Kirk is dying on Veridian III. Two figures manifest in his mind. They show him how things could have gone differently if Kirk had made a different choice.

The Next Generation

Dylan Otto Krider: What Went Through Data’s Mind 0.68 Seconds Before the Satellite Hit: Data’s first-person report to Starfleet.

Jerry M. Wolfe: The Naked Truth: Reg Barcley is leading an away team for the first time and he’s nervous, not surprisingly. Worse, the Enterprise must leave and the small team is on its own.

Peg Robinson: The First: Picard encounters a woman who is the first one on her planet to build and fly a spacecraft. She’s even built an engine that leaves Geordi scratching his head. Unfortunately, the Federation is at war with the Dominion, so the woman and her people must stay on their planet, for their own good. Picard wrestles with his conscience and the Prime Directive.

Kathy Oltion: See Spot Run: The Enterprise is due for an inspection in just a couple of days. Normally, that’s not a problem but lately strange malfunctions have appeared all over the ship. Right now they’re minor but could escalate. Also, Data’s cat Spot manages to slip out of his quarters and cause havoc.

Bobbie Benton Hull: Together again, for the first time: The relationship between Captain Picard and Guinan stretches through centuries. Now, they meet for the first time, kind of.

Alara Rogers: Civil Disobedience: The Borg have destroyed the Earth. Q isn’t happy about that, but the Continuum has ordered him not to interfere.

Franklin Thatcher: Of Cabbages and Kings: All of a sudden, the Enterprise finds itself without its crew. It must try to find out what happened and also survive when mechanized ships attack.

Deep Space Nine

Christina F. York: Life’s Lessons: Cadet Nog had come to visit from Starfleet Academy and he notices that Mrs. O’Brien, his former and most beautiful teacher, is sad. His Ferengi instincts take over and he plans how to take advantage of the situation. Keiko O’Brien thinks that her husband Miles might be falling for Major Kira Nerys. Kira is pregnant with the O’Briens’ son and Keiko starts to think Kira will take her place in the family. Keiko is heading down to Bajor for a conference but misses her flight. Nog manages to borrow a runabout and takes Keiko down. He plans to take make his move on her on the planet.

Vince Bonasso: Where I Fell Before My Enemy: U.S.S. Defiant is on a navigation test run when it encounters another Federation ship in distress. Moments later, the other vessel explodes with everyone inside. Captain Sisko pursues the small ship that is responsible but all is not as it seems.

Voyager

Patrick Cumby: Good Night, Voyager: Suddenly the main power of U.S.S. Voyager goes out, leaving the crew in darkness and without gravity. The crew, of course, starts to repair and investigate what happened.

J.A. Rosales: Ambassador at Large: Three Mondasian ships are pursuing a small vessel. Voyager interferes and beams the only life form aboard. To everyone’s surprise, the pilot turns out to be a human and over a hundred years old. He’s friendly but evades most questions about how he’s in the Delta quadrant.

jaQ Andrews: Fiction: Voyager crash-landed on a planet four years ago. Chakotay has made a new life for himself there, but Janeway won’t give up. She feels that something isn’t right.

Jackee C.: I, Voyager: A sentient life form is fascinated by Janeway and her crew. It studies them.

Craig D.B. Patton: Monthuglu: Voyager enters into a strange new nebula to cut a little time off their journey. However, as soon as Voyager enters the nebula, the main power goes offline. Soon, the crew experiences strange things and small things start to go wrong. The story is told through logs.

Because We Can

Two more short stories from two of the editors. They don’t conform to the competition guidelines.

John J. Ordover: The Man Who Sold the Sky: A man is on his deathbed when six familiar people appear around him.

Paula M. Block: The Girl Who Controlled Gene Kelly’s Feet: Enterprise’s psychologist interviews yeoman Minnie Moskowitz who is bored with her job. The ship will soon land on the amusement park plant, so the psychologist suggests that Minnie take a holiday.

This was an entertaining collection. Some of the stories aren’t as polished as from professional writers but the appreciation of the characters, the setting, and the heart of the show comes clear.

A collection of SF short stories, novellettes, and one novella. The first in an SF anthology series.

58231576

Format: ebook

Publisher: WMG Publishing

Page count from GoodReads: 506

Publishing year: 2021

The theme of the collection is cities. The stories are quite varied, including a terrorist’s manifesto, a detective story, and romances. Three are set in the Seeders universe from Smith which deals with survivors living after most of humanity has died. Rusch has also one survivor story. Most are set on Earth but a couple are set in alien worlds and one is on a space station.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The City’s Edge (2016), a novelette: Petras’ wife is dead. To cope with her death and to continue to be a father to their two children, Petras needs to see her body and see where she died. He also tries to understand why she died.


Dunyon (2011): The story is set in a remote outpost that is a resort for the very rich. But now it’s also the last stop for desperate refugees. The main character runs a bar and hears all sorts of things. Then one customer claims that the MC knows how to get to Dunyon, a safe haven. But the MC has never even heard about it. When more people demand to be taken to Dunyon, she investigates before things get out of control.

One Small Step (2008): Nyalou is the newest member of the Tranquility Base’s Council on the Moon. The others intimidate her. But when the richest member starts to say that the Arrival Monument and the footprint must go so that the land can be sold for huge profit, Nyalou disagrees, to her own surprise. She hasn’t gone to the Monument since she was a kid. But she agrees to find out if people still go to see Armstrong’s footprint.


Earth Day (2013): The main character’s mother was obsessed with Earth Day and saving the planet. The MC is obsessed with his mom and in her memory, he will save the planet.

Snapshots (2014): When Cleavon was ten years old in 1955 Chicago, he saw for the first time a murder victim, a black boy just like himself. Years later, he fled the city to raise his family in peace. But to his horror, his daughter gets a scholarship and is returning to Chicago despite his objections.

Voyeuristic Tendencies (2014), a novelette. Maggie keeps herself invisible because of her talent and because of the money she makes using her talent. She’s a telepath who can only read minds, not influence them in any way. She uses the information she gets, usually about cheating spouses, and makes good money. But when an old man approaches her claiming he had the same talent, he says that she will go insane when she’s forty.


Coolhunting (1998), a novella: Steffie Storm-Warning is a coolhunter, searching for the next trend. It’s lonely work but she loves her independence and anonymity. The trend is a human doing something cool or wearing something cool. The trend can last a couple of days to a few weeks. Steffie has a honed sense of what would be cool. She records the subject and sends the recording to companies that can use them. She had a strange and difficult childhood which is the reason why she prefers to be anonymious but now her family needs her.

Story Child (1990): Michael was left behind in the Abandonment. Every child and many adults just disappeared overnight, including his wife and child. The people left behind are plagued by unknown illnesses. For two years Michael has been the only doctor in town, fighting to keep people alive and fighting against his exhaustion and helplessness. Then, the story child appears hovering in a skimmer.


Sing (1987): The nameless main character of the story is a native of her planet. One day a human tells her that he wants to record her singing. But she doesn’t know what that means. Her culture has no words for music or anything related to music. She’s suspicious.


Dancers Like Children [Alien Influences] (1991) a novelette: Dr. Justin Schafer specializes in both alien and human psychology. However, ten years ago he made a horrible mistake and hasn’t been practicing since. He’s been called to the Bountiful colony on an alien planet because someone is brutally killing children inside the colony dome. The locals are convinced that the killers are the local aliens called Dancers because the kids had been murdered in a way that mimics a Dancer ritual. Justin takes the job reluctantly, hoping he won’t make mistakes this time.

Dean Wesley Smith

Playing in the Street (1995) a novelette: In 2030, Moscow, Idaho is a dead town. People died instantly. The main character returns there in protective gear to look at his dead parents. He knows what happened to the town and it all started back in 1913.

Keep Hoping for a New Tomorrow (2017): Martin Knight runs a popular talk show Here and Now where he interviews people stuck in time. And there are a lot of people to interview: everyone on Earth. For 7,987 times everyone on the planet has been experiencing the same 66 minutes over and over again. However, their minds have not been affected. They know it’s happening so they can change what they do after the time loop starts repeating again.


A Bad Patch of Humanity [The Seeders Universe] (2015): Four years ago, an electromagnetic pulse killed off every human who wasn’t underground. The survivors have rebuilt a few cities. Angie Park is looking for survivors and telling them that other humans still live. Most people she meets are first afraid but then relieved. But the small group she meets this time is quite different.


Nostalgia 101 (2006): A thousand years ago, humanity used nanites to prolong their own lives. When the sun started to cool, humans built domes. Now, a group of relatively young humans is looking to pass Nostalgia 101 class. Because boredom isn’t the threat. Nostalgia is.


Out of Coffee Experience (2013): Arrington is a time-artist: he goes back in time and captures a split second of a split second so that people from his time can come and view the moment as art. He also hates coffee so he decided to make his newest, and no doubt most popular, piece of art in a coffee shop in 2004.


Remember Me to Your Children (2014): Part of the Seeders universe, this is also a story about people who survived the Event. Tammy and Hal are part of Respect project, looking into homes so that they can record the names and lives of people who lived there and lay the bodies to rest in a new cemetery. This time Tammy and Hal find something unexpected.


Neighborhoods (2013): Big Ed is a self-made millionaire who is used to solving problems nobody else can. But living in Chicago he can’t help but hear all the time about gun violence and children dying. Nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. But Big Ed comes up with a crazy plan.


To Remember a Single Minute (2015): Mike Hanley has lived a full life but now he’s facing a disease that will take his memories from him. However, Remember Incorporated will guarantee that he will always remember one minute of his life.


He Meant No Harm [Bryant Street] (2016): Dennis Phipps’s grandmother has passed away and he returns to the old family house on Bryant Street, to clean it up. The other houses seem to be abandoned, too. He finds something that reminds him of his childhood and wants to try it out again.

Shadow in the City [The Seeders Universe] (2003): Carey has been living alone since the Event happened four years ago. She hiked from dead Portland, Oregon to the coast. Now, she’s returning to Portland with the faint hope that someone else might have survived, too. Hopefully someone still sane.

I’ve read two of Rusch’s stories before, Coolhunting and Dancers like Children. I enjoyed them again and I enjoyed all the stories.

2022 Holiday Spectacular is live on Kickstarter!

Basically, it’s an expanded fiction Advent Calendar. Every day from American Thanksgiving (November 24th) through January 1st, 2023, all supporters of this campaign will get an original holiday story delivered to them every day to read on any device.

The stories are all original and written by over thirty different professional writers and edited by Hugo Award winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch. And no one but Kris and a couple people at WMG Publishing know which story you will get each day. That’s part of the fun.

This year, the three themes are “Candy Cane Kisses”, “Crooked Little Christmas”, and “Time Travel Holidays.” I’m particularly looking forward to those time travel stories.

10 days to go. It’s already funded and passed three stretch goals so every pledger will get three extra stories. The project has two very interesting workshops for writers: How to Write a Hardboiled Holiday Story and How to Write a Secrets Holiday Story.

As I understand it, the original hardcover edition was split into three paperbacks.

21531492

Publishing year: 2014

Format: Print

Publisher: Tor

Page count: 403

About half of the stories are set in the writer’s larger universe and one is a shared world. I had no trouble understanding the stories but unfortunately, I didn’t feel that they were very compelling, either. Most of the women are politically or socially dangerous.

Lev Grossman: The Girl in the Mirror: set in his Magicians world, the story follows Plum. She’s the leader of a secret society of students, the League, in a magical university. One student has stepped over the line and the League must discipline him with an elaborate prank.

Sharon Kay Penman: A Queen in Exile: 1189 Germany. Constance de Hauteville hears that her nephew has died. That means that Constance will be Queen of Sicily and her cold and ruthless husband the Holy Roman Emperor will also be King of Sicily. But a bitter battle for the crown must be won first.

S. M. Sterling: Pronouncing Doom: Machines don’t work anymore and society has fragmented. In this town, Wiccans rule. It’s the heavy duty of Juniper Mackenzie to sentence an evildoer.

Caroline Spector: Lies My Mother Told Me: Set in the Wild Cards universe, the main character Michelle Pond is a major superhero called Bubbles. She and her adoptive daughter Adesina are in a Mardi Gras parade when zombies attack. Michelle knows that her friend Joey, the Hoodoo Mama, is the one who controls zombies but why would Joey attack the parade and her? Turns out someone stole Joey’s power. And that’s just the beginning.

Sam Sykes: Name the Beast: Kalindris’ people are silent, watchful. They hear the Howling. But her daughter is nothing like that. Kalindris has grown to resent the man who sired the child and she also resents her daughter. When it’s time for the child to kill a beast and blood her hands, Kalindris goes with her because she’s sure that the child isn’t up to the task. The other POV is Senny. Senny’s Mother and Father are arguing. A beast killed Senny’s older sibling and the family is on the run.

Nancy Kress: Second Arabesque, Very Slowly: In a world, where a virus made 99% of women infertile, civilization has fallen. In Northern USA, people are either hunter-gatherer packs or farmer communities. The first-person POV main character Nurse is in a hunter-gatherer pack. She’s already past 60 and knows that when she can’t keep up anymore, she will be shot. But for now, she does her best to nurse the women and men of the pack. The women are valued for their fertility or if they have special skills.

Diana Gabaldon: Virgins: A novella set in her Oulander setting but before the books. Jamie Fraiser has just fled Scotland and joins a mercenary group where his best friend Ian is a member. Because Jamie and Ian understand Hebrew, they are entrusted with a mission to bring a Jewish girl, her maid, and a priceless dowry to Paris for her wedding. Of course, things go wrong.

This is one of the Wyrd & Wonder prompts.

Time to celebrate shorter reads – what are your favorite fantasy zines, anthologies, individual short stories, novelettes, or novellas?

I like short stories and novellas. It was difficult to choose just five but here goes.

1, Lois McMaster Bujold: Penric’s Demon

The first story in the Penric & Desdemona fantasy series. Penric is the younger son of a minor lord. He wants to study but the family can’t afford it. He’s studious, curious, generous, and kind. When the family finds him a marriage match with the daughter of a cheese merchant, he agrees to it and while he doesn’t love his bride, he can easily imagine that he will in time. However, on the way to the betrothal party, he meets a group of people: a couple of servants and an old woman clearly in distress. He offers to help the woman and receives more than he ever imagines: a demon.

In this world, demons are intelligent creatures but they don’t have bodies. Instead, they have to take over another body, animal or human. They’re also not evil but have, of course, very different experiences from any human which means that humans don’t necessarily understand them or their reactions. Also, if the host has a weak will, the demon can take over completely. Penric has no knowledge of demons or how to control them, so he has to learn it all from scratch. But he’s curious and willing to learn. This particular demon is about 200 years old but her most recent hosts have been Temple sorceresses, so she knows not to try to wrestle for control.

Penric and his demon are a delightful pair. I’ve enjoyed the series a lot.

2, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Scottish Play

Porchia is one of three sisters and three witches. Their family tree of witches can be traced back to several centuries, only their methods have changed. Her job is to get rid of curses and other magic in theaters. Because acting, and writing, can produce magic, they can also produce curses so she and her two sisters are in high demand. However, something goes terribly wrong in the Lancaster theater where their mother is working on a curse and is killed.

3, Phyllis Irene Radford and Laura Anne Gilman, ed: The Shadow Conspiracy

In this short story collection, the short stories affect each other and the setting. In the first story the main character, Mary Shelley, (yes, she who wrote the Frankenstein) finds out about new science that she thinks is abdominal: it can transfer a human soul to another body. We get to see the consequences of this science in the other stories. Another scientific achievement is done by Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace; they create machines in the shapes of men. The metal men become more and more common, and are programmed for more and more varied tasks.

Apparently, it’s now only available as an audiobook.

4, Nancy Jane Moore: A Mere Scutcheon

It’s set in a world similar to the Three Musketeers, except that a woman’s honor is the same as a man’s, and not between her legs. The Queen has her guardswomen and the King his guardsmen, and they are often dueling each other. The Queen gives Anna D’Gart a mission: to get back the Queen’s necklace before the ball where the Queen is expected to wear the necklace. Anna and her loyal friend Asamir set out to retrieve it. Asamir is aiming to become a nun but not before she has lots of intimate meetings with a married count.

5, JY Yang: Bridge of Crows

A hauntingly beautiful tale told in a format of a story inside a story. The unnamed narrator tells the tale of a young woman who is walking through a barren land on a desperate quest. From “The Mythic Dream” short story collection.

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