4/06 UPDATE: My New Year’s Resolution
This is the April 2006 update of my New Year’s Resolution.
STARTING SF-POINTS©: 98
SF-POINTS© EARNED THIS MONTH: 56 (QUOTA: 30)
YEAR-TO-DATE SF-POINTS©: 154 (YTD QUOTA: 120)
|DATE READ||STORY||YEAR WRITTEN||AUTHOR||SOURCE||RATING||TYPE||POINTS||YTD POINTS|
|04/06/06||“Good Mountain”||2005||Robert Reed||One Million, A.D. edited by Gardner Dozois||NA||4||102|
|04/07/06||“A Piece of the Great World”||2005||Robert Silverberg||NA||4||106|
|04/08/06||“Mirror Image”||2005||Nancy Kress||NA||4||110|
|04/08/06||“The Chiaroscurist“||2005||Hal Duncan||Electric Velocipede||NV||2||112|
|04/X09/06||“Thousandth Night”||2005||Alastair Reynolds||One Million, A.D. edited by Gardner Dozois||NA||4||116|
|04/10/06||“Born-Again“||2005||K.D. Wentworth||2005 Nebula Award Short Fiction Reading Project||SS||1||117|
|04/11/06||“Missile Gap”||2005||Charles Stross||One Million, A.D. edited by Gardner Dozois||NA||4||121|
|04/12/06||“Riding the Crocodile”||2005||Greg Egan||NA||4||125|
|04/13/06||“The End of the World as We Know It“||2004||Dale Bailey||2005 Nebula Award Short Fiction Reading Project||SS||1||126|
|04/14/06||“Clay’s Pride“||2004||Bud Sparhawk||NA||4||130|
|04/16/06||“Magic for Beginners“||2005||Kelly Link||NA||4||134|
|04/16/06||“The Faery Handbag“||2004||Kelly Link||NV||2||136|
|04/16/06||“I Live With You“||2005||Carol Emshwiller||SS||1||137|
|04/17/06||“Singing Down My Sister“||2005||Margo Lanagan||SS||1||138|
|04/18/06||“Flat Diane“||2004||Daniel Abraham||NV||2||140|
|04/19/06||“Left of the Dial“||2004||Paul Witcover||NA||4||144|
|04/21/06||“Identity Theft“||2005||Robert J. Sawyer||NA||4||148|
|04/21/06||“Still Life With Boobs“||2005||Anne Harris||SS||1||149|
|04/22/06||“Nirvana High“||2004||Eileen Gunn and Leslie What||NV||2||151|
|04/22/06||“There’s a Hole in the City“||2004||Richard Bowes||SS||1||152|
|04/24/06||“Into the Gardens of Sweet Night“||2005||Jay Lake||Fictionwise||NV||2||154|
KEY:VI=Vignette (.25 points), SS=Short Story (1 point), NV=Novelette (2 points), NA=Novella (4 points)
NOTE: Click the Source link to see the associated review. Miscellaneous reviews follow
“The Chiaroscurist” by Hal Duncan [2005 novelette] (Rating: ) [Read 04/08/06]
- Source: Electric Velocipede
- Synopsis: An chiaroscurist – an artist who specializes in monotone pictures which highlight might and shadow – sculpts the face of god in a monastery.
- Review: Duncan’s creates a great mood in his writing. There are several touching scenes as we come to know that Iosef, the model for the artist’s work, is ridiculed for his dwarfish stature. In the end, we realize that this is not so much a story about the artist as it is of Iosef. A very good story.
“Into the Gardens of Sweet Night” by Jay Lake [2003 novelette] (Rating: ) [Read 04/24/06]
- Source: Fictionwise
- Synopsis: A young man named Elroy, having recently finished a spiritual quest at a monastery, becomes gainfully employed by a talking pug named Wiggles. Together, the unlikely pair embarks on an eye-opening journey to find the fabled Gardens of Sweet Night.
- Review: The first half of this wonderful sf story reads like fantasy. That’s a fine line to walk and is not always done successfully, but Lake pulls it off beautifully. I am reminded of the same pseudo-magical atmosphere that was in Silverberg’s Nightwings. While the idea of talking animals sounds lame as a first impression, I am again reminded (as I was with Ian McDonald’s “Floating Dogs” and also with Bradley Denton’s “Sergeant Chip“) that quality storytelling can make anything sound plausible with no sacrifice to quality. In Lake’s perhaps too-scantily-drawn far-future, nanotech and genetic engineering have give rise to a brother race of animals. (Not to be confused with lowly beasts, thank you!) Wiggles (love the name!) enlists young Elroy to assist him in his return to the Gardens, the religious equivalent of Eden (Eden is, in fact, one of the 6 other Gardens) from which he was cast out. Elroy is surprised to learn that the gardens are not fables but space stations that orbit the Earth and are run by a much-feared Lord, who seeks out Wiggles for taking the forbidden fruit – an apple, natch. Elroy’s worldview focuses so much on the definition of personal freedom that he fails to see opportunities to achieve it. All told, this is an excellent, atmospheric story. With dirigibles!
- Note: Nominated for the 2004 Hugo Award for best novelette.
Filed under: Books
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