trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

21. “Sallie C.” by Neal Barrett Jr.

Not science fiction. In an isolated desert hotel the paths of the Wright Brothers, the Rommels, Billy the Kid, someone named Pat Garrett and a Native American stereotype briefly intersect.

Felt like the main appeal was in recognition and revelation, but perhaps someone with a particular interest in those figures might have drawn more from this story.

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

20. “Video Star” by Walter Jon Williams

Another cyberpunk heist story. I don’t find these interesting, despite that they possibly (worryingly) represent well where the world is heading. Although, I am the teensiest bit of a sucker for “one last job and then I’m out and clean” types, probably because they invite tragedy and I spend the story wishing for a better outcome.

Tess's picture

LED Streetlights

As much as I want LED, solar powered street lights, I keep thinking about a problem many southern dwelling designers never considered. 

Snow.

A few years ago -- far before LA's switch -- Wisconsin tried to switch to LED bulbs for power savings in their existing light fixtures. It was working great until a front of wet, sticky snow came through. Snow stuck to the fixtures, eventually covering the light and making it useless. 

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

18. “And So To Bed” by Harry Turtledove

What if Native Americans didn’t exist, but the Americas were populated by enduring megafauna and some other hominids (possibly australopithecus? [ed: homo erectus]), which white people enslaved? And what if Samuel Pepys were inspired by his interactions with them to propose a theory of common descent in 1661?

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

17. “Chance” by Connie Willis

Urgent, disjointed tale in which maybe two periods of the narrator’s life overlap.

This is another story which felt like it could have been placed in a non-genre collection. Actually, this story is so wide open to interpretation I feel almost as if I may as well not have read it - too much freedom to decide ‘what happened’, what it means. Although contrariwise, I would not have imagined that segment of possibilities without having read “Chance”.

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

16. “The Prisoner of Chillon” by James Patrick Kelly

This felt incomplete, like there was something I was supposed to bring to the story that I don’t have. Was also amused that by certain strict definitions (which I do not personally adhere to), this story is not science fiction because the actual narrative - a heist gone wrong, having to lay low with the mysterious figure who arranged the job, the interpersonal tensions which play out subsequently - do not actually depend on the speculative elements to function.

trice's picture

A day out

Busy sort of day. Facelasering appointment appointment in the morning, over-slept so missed breakfast. Did get to listen to many episodes of Planetary Radio and Philosopher's Zone however. And delicious hamburger for lunch.

trice's picture

<.<

Been rather sick last week. Had a big assignment due on the Monday we just had and another due on the coming Monday. Fortunately these story reflections are just something I've been slack at cross-posting from already-written at Tumblr, so they don't take much time that I should be working.

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

15. “Night Moves” by Tim Powers

So that’s a Tim Powers story. I look more forward to reading his novels on the strength of this, although I also get the feeling there may be a lot of social nastiness lurking under the surface which extended works may clarify.

Not science fiction. The destitute and regretful who have washed up in a Californian town are swept into a choice between dreams - whatever thing in the past they hold on to - and the world. I frown at the shadow of abortion tragedy which hangs over this tale.

trice's picture

Currently Reading - The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Annual Collection

14. “Tattoos” by Jack Dann

Strange, dark fantasy about Jewish folk and tattoos and transformation and transference and spousal love through bad times.

This also pleasantly surprised me, having expected it to be at first like a Paul Jennings story, the sort of thing I’ve always been squeamish about. Plus rather amused by a character early on recounting a prophetic dream which no one seems to have noticed as such. (also, the only holocaust survivor in the story is not Jewish, though the story itself is centred on Jewishness)

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