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UPDATE: My New Year’s Resolution

This is the November 2004 update of my New Year’s Resolution.





As you can see, I met my goal this month by surpassing 366 points. Yay for me. I might take the opportunity to slow down around and enjoy the holidays. or maybe not – I know Scott likes reading these monthly summaries. 🙂


11/04/04 “Bagatelle” John Varley 1976 SCI FICTION 3/5 NV 2 336
11/13/04 “Off On A Starship” William Barton 2003 The Year’s Best Science Fiction #21 edited by Gardner Dozois 4/5 NA 4 340
11/14/04 “The Ice” Steven Popkes 2003 5/5 NA 4 344
11/16/04 “The Bellman” John Varley 2003 4/5 NV 2 346
11/16/04 “The Bear’s Baby” Judith Moffett 2003 4.5/5 NA 4 350
11/17/04 “Calling Your Name” Howard Waldrop 2003 5/5 SS 1 351
11/17/04 “June Sixteenth At Anna’s” Kristine Kathryn Rusch 2003 3.5/5 SS 1 352
11/17/04 “The Green Leopard Plague” Walter Jon Williams 2003 3.5/5 NA 4 356
11/17/04 “The Fluted Girl” Paolo Bacigalupi 2003 3/5 NV 2 358
11/20/04 “Dead Worlds” Jack Skillingstead 2003 3/5 SS 1 359
11/21/04 “King Dragon” Michael Swanwick 2003 4.5/5 NA 4 363
11/22/04 “Singletons In Love” Paul Melko 2003 3.5/5 NV 2 365
11/22/04 “Anomalous Structures Of My Dreams” M. Shayne Bell 2003 5/5 NV 2 367
11/22/04 “Joe Steele” Harry Turtledove 2003 1/5 SS 1 368
11/24/04 “Awake In The Night” John C. Wright 2003 3/5 NA 4 372
11/24/04 “The Long Way Home” James Van Pelt 2003 4/5 SS 1 373
11/24/04 “The Eyes Of America” Geoffrey A. Landis 2003 1/5 SS 1 374
11/25/04 “Welcome To Olympus, Mr. Hearst” Kage Baker 2003 4.5/5 NA 4 378
11/25/04 “Strong Medicine” William Shunn 2003 4/5 VI 0 378
11/26/04 “Send Me A Mentagram” Dominic Green 2003 2.5/5 SS 1 379
11/26/04 “And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon” Paul Di Filippo 2003 4/5 SS 1 380
11/27/04 “Flashmen” Terry Dowling 2003 1.5/5 SS 1 381
11/27/04 “Dragonhead” Nick DiChario 2003 3.5/5 VI 0 381
11/28/04 “Dear Abbey” Terry Bisson 2003 4/5 NA 4 385
11/XX/04 “All You Zombies…” Robert A. Heinlein 1959 The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction #9 and online 5/5 SS 1 386

KEY:VI=Vignette (.25 points), SS=Short Story (1 point), NV=Novelette (2 points), NA=Novella (4 points)


  • Miscellaneous reviews follow

“Bagatelle” by John Varley
[Read: 11/04/04]
[Rating: 3/5]

  • Synopsis: A fifty-kiloton nuclear bomb containing a cyborg mind threatens to explode in a heavily populated lunar settlement. Police Chief Anna-Louise Bach enlists the help of vacationing bomb expert Roger Birkson to diffuse it.
  • Review: Good story, though not spectacular. It felt a little padded. This probably would have worked better as a short story rather than a novelette.

    “All You Zombies…” by Robert A. Heinlein
    [Read: 11/29/04]
    [Rating: 5/5]
    [Source: The Best of Fantasy and SF Magazine and online]

  • Synopsis: A time travel agent travels back in time to recruit a man who is nothing at all like he seems.
  • Synopsis WITH SPOLIERS: I just have to get this down for my own recollection. A Bartender listens to the life story of some Guy. The Guy was born a woman, left on the doorstep of an orphanage as a baby, eventually has sex with a stranger and gives birth to a baby girl. At the birth, the doctors notice two sets of internal reproductive organs and convert her to a man. Then the Guy’s child is kidnapped. The bartender, who we learn is a time travel agent on a recruiting mission, offers to tell the man who the baby’s father is. Bartender takes Guy back in time to 1963 where the Guy has sex with his younger, female self. In other words – he is the baby?s father. Meanwhile, Bartender jumps ahead a year, kidnaps the baby, jumps back to 1945 and leaves the baby on the doorstep of the orphanage – the Guy is also his own mother. Bartender jumps forward to pick up Guy and returns with his new recruit where he later receives an assignment to pose as a Bartender and recruit himself.
  • Review: Time travel stories do not get any better than this. As if the excellent writing style doesn’t provide enough enjoyment, Heinlein dives head first into time loops and paradoxes and twists them into a mobius strip of fun. Hugely enjoyable story that I will definitely re-read every so often.
  • Note: Spoiler laden summaries here and here.
    About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
    John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

    3 Comments on UPDATE: My New Year’s Resolution

    1. The Varley novel sounds like the bomb in John Carpenter’s Dark Star movie. Which everyone should watch. Its funny.
      And wow, that Heinlein story sounds fun. Maybe you ought to read the Confluence series by Paul J. McAuley. All the books are out and they are all quite good. Consider this a “If you liked this short story, here are other stories you might like” recommendation.

    2. I’ll need to check out Dark Star. Is that a candidate for you SF movies you gotta see list?
      Yes, the Heinlein story is a well-loved classic for a good reason. BTW, I noticed an incorrect description and lack of years in the “Synopsis WITH SPOLIERS” section – so I updated it.
      As if you couldn’t guess, I already own the Confluence series (bookaholics unite!) but I have not read it yet.

    3. Thank goodness there’s only one more month! 🙂

    Comments are closed.

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