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<.<

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.

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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.

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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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Inexperthusiasm

When I talk about media I am enjoying, such as in the previous post, I get worried people will think I am presenting myself as some sort of expert. Especially since my default voice tends to a sort of dry pseudo-academic.

Really, I am expert at very little, perhaps nothing. But I like liking things, I like talking about them, and trying to understand them and my reactions to them.

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Musically metal

Whenever I listen to it I almost always conclude I like metal better without the singing (my recurring joke is “The intro was great, they should make a whole song of that.”). Which, in fact, was a lot of what put me off even trying it for so long - the stereotype of a bunch of men shouting into a microphone so hoarsely as to be incomprehensible.

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

13. “The Beautiful and the Sublime” by Bruce Sterling

This was interesting. So far as the idea of science fiction as futurism goes, this story feels like it has hit the mark more closely than many others. A world in which socially networked computing has been a locus of generation gap, as privacy norms diverge and romantic extravagance and artistry gain pre-eminent social cachet over any sort of mercantile materialism or nationalism.

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

12. “Tangents” by Greg Bear

Peter “I’m not Alan Turing, honest” Thornton takes under his wing a musically and mathematically talented Korean boy who learns to perceive in four dimensions.

You know, I did not start out writing these summaries of the stories, just my responses to them. But sometimes the sarcasm of summarising what happens is part of what I need to communicate with. Or at least I am too lazy in the moment to deviate from standard short story response form.

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

11. “Grave Angels” by Richard Kearns

In small town USA, the white son of a major family finds himself the eventually unwilling apprentice to a grave-digging magical negro.

This could have been an episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.

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

10. “The Pure Product” by John Kessel

Kaleidoscopic wanderings of what is probably a visitor from some nihilistic future across North America. First person protagonist takes care to maintain distance from the audience “people like you” vs “people like me” - socially manipulative, disdainful of human well-being except as a medium for ‘art’.

Felt like this story invited a lot of questioning of its narrative. How real various experiences were, how honest the protagonist was being with the audience and with himself, the degree of truth in accusations levelled at him.

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