This is the September 2006 update of my New Year’s Resolution to (almost) read a short story a day. I met my goal this month. Yay me.
STARTING SF-POINTS©: 338
SF-POINTS© EARNED THIS MONTH: 38 (QUOTA: 30)
YEAR-TO-DATE SF-POINTS©: 376 (YTD QUOTA: 273)
|DATE READ||YEAR WRITTEN||STORY||AUTHOR||SOURCE||RATING||TYPE||POINTS||YTD POINTS|
|09/01/06||2001||“Ms Midshipwoman Harrington”||David Weber||The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer||NA||4||342|
|09/02/06||2002||“Ring Rats”||R. Garcia y Robertson||NA||4||346|
|09/05/06||2002||“The Death of Captain Future”||Allen Steele||NA||4||350|
|09/08/06||1995||“A Worm in the Well”||Gregory Benford||NV||2||352|
|09/08/06||1993||“Fools Errand”||Sarah Zettel||SS||1||353|
|09/09/06||1990||“The Shobies’ Story”||Ursula K. Le Guin||NV||2||355|
|09/09/06||1994||“The Remoras”||Robert Reed||NV||2||357|
|09/10/06||2003||“The Great Game”||Stephen Baxter||SS||1||358|
|09/10/06||2002||“Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel”||Michael Moorcock||NV||2||364|
|09/11/06||1997||“Space Opera”||Michael Kandel||SS||1||365|
|09/12/06||1998||“Aurora in Four Voices”||Catherine Asaro||NV||2||367|
|09/12/06||2000||“Bear Trap”||Charles Stross||NV||2||369|
|09/13/06||1995||“Recording Angel”||Paul J. McAuley||NV||2||371|
|09/13/06||2000||“The Movements of Her Eyes”||Scott Westerfeld||NV||2||373|
|09/14/06||1997||“Guest Law”||John C. Wright||NV||2||375|
|09/18/06||1995||“Teleabsence”||Michael A. Burstein||Wondrous Beginnings edited by Stephen H. Silver and Martin H. Greenberg||SS||1||376|
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
“Teleabsence” by Michael A. Burstein [1995 short story]
- Source: Wondrous Beginnings edited by Stephen H. Silver and Martin H. Greenberg (2003)
- Synopsis: An underprivileged black kid named Tony acquires a pair of virtual reality spex that allows him to attend a more prestigious school as Andrew, the white boy who owns the spex.
- Review: This 1995 story, the first of Burstein’s to be published, is the companion piece (and basis) of his 2005 Hugo-nominated short story “Telepresence”. (Read the review.) Both stories use the interesting backdrop of education affected by technology, but the spotlight is on the human interest story. Tony’s a decent kid who simply wants a better education but is prevented from doing so for economic reasons. His VR teacher, Ms. Ellis, is sympathetic to his plight and tries to help. By focusing on the characters instead of the technology, the story floats in poignancy, holding its head above the soapy waters with another positive message about diversity and, this time, generosity as well. The ending, while not surprising, leaves you with a good feeling.
- Note: Nominated for the 1996 Hugo; Winner of the 1996 AnLab and 1996 SF Chronicle Awards.