Almost like a reward for getting through the Hugo voting, Kameron Hurley posted her second story funded by Patreon
, which handily completed another set of six stories for me:The Judgement of Gods and Monsters
is a thoughtful story about how a society creates the balance between being fully peaceful in peacetime, and being able to defend itself in wartime; how it deals after the war with those who committed violence within it.
I like the main plot of the story, but I also like how some of the background details (family structures, command structures, current technology) are not like the current white Western default, which builds the sense of this being a different place very effectively.Archana and Chandni
by Iona Sharma
Indian wedding … in space! I loved it, from the convincing portrayal of enduring culture into the future, to the spaceship sibling, to the wedding couple and the feeling of family. Just lovely. I have to thank karaspita
who linked to it. (and now I have Yet Another source of short fiction to fail to keep up with, yay!)Alnwick
by Iona Sharma
Also brought to my attention by karaspita
; this time about a bureaucrat in a British space program getting called out of a tedious party to respond to an accident affecting one of the key staff. I really like how the characters and the background culture feel completely real and believable, and the overall feeling is optimistic.
(and at this point I looked up the author’s website, realised that Nine Thousand Hours
which I wrote about last time is also by Iona Sharma and think maybe I rather like this author?)Noise Pollution
by Alison Wingus
I really like the worldbuilding this story, where music is magic and there’s evil/chaotic noise that has to be fended off with singing, or at least a walkman playing some good music. Lots of fun. (and oh hey the author also writes comics)The Totally Secret Origin of Foxman: Excerpts from an EPIC Autobiography
by Kelly McCullough
It’s pretty much what it says on the tin: another variant on the superhero origin story, complete with former friend/nemesis and unexplained arrival of powers, but done well and interesting me enough to stick the imminent novel-in-the-same-universe on my wishlist.Kin, Painted
by Penny Stirling
I read this because the accompanying artwork was by Mia
, whose work I adore. I’m often find highly stylised writing puts me off, if I’m noticing the style more than the story, but I think here the style and the story work together well and I enjoyed reading this, and admiring how Mia’s painting fits it so well.
(And Lackingtons looks interesting, if by its focus on stylistic writing, somewhat outside my comfort zone. I didn’t have enough short story publishers to keep up with, clearly!)