Sunday, August 7, 2016

Short Fiction - July 2016

[public domain image of Library of Congress building from]

Short Fiction - July 2016

I'm a little bit late in my post for my July short fiction reading, but I've been reading all along. Unusually for me, this month I read three novellas, one of them approximately 40K words long, balanced on the other ends by lots and lots of flash pieces and even microfiction, which I count as under 500 words. The two standouts for me this month fall on either end of that spectrum, with one flash piece and one novella.

I have to admit, my long fiction reading is suffering as a result of this story-a-day project. But I think I have become addicted to the short form, so that may be the way it has to be.

"Morning Sun"
by Edward Ashton

Length: 971 words
Category: Short story (mainstream)
Where Published: Every Day Fiction
When Published: 2016-07-13

This short mainstream piece is about a man who has both cancer and regrets. In that sense, it's not what I'd call an innovative story, but I felt as though every word in the story was the right choice. The author conveys so much in a few words.

"Combat Shopping"
by Elizabeth Moon

Length: 20,450 words (est. based on sample page count)
Category: Novella (science fiction)
Where Published: Escape from Earth (anthology), SFBC
When Published: 2006
Link: N/A

This novelette appears in the anthology Escape from Earth, in which editors Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois were charged with finding stories with a traditional juvenile sensibility of longing to "see what's happening out there." I haven't read all the stories in the anthology yet, but Elizabeth Moon's "Combat Shopping" certainly filled the bill. Twelve-year-old Andi Murchison longs to get her pilot's license as a possible means to escape her stifling life in a habitat on Jupiter's moon Ganymede. When she defies her adoptive mother's orders to take the test, it sets off a chain of events that reveal some unexpected secrets about her situation. I loved the way Andi takes charge of her own destiny, yet doesn't forget her responsibilities to others, particularly her adoptive siblings.

Other stories read in July 2016:

(alphabetical by author)

- "Vent Act" by Graham Brand (2016)
- "Companion Trilogy: Bareheaded" by Mike Buckley (2016)
- "Companion Trilogy: Companion" by Mike Buckley (2016)
- "Companion Trilogy: Companionless" by Mike Buckley (2016)
- "A Patch of Dirt in Paradise" by Lee Budar-Danoff (2016)
- "Interrogation Cupcakes" by Alexander Burns (2016)
- "Goosed" by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks (2016)
- "Heroes Be Damned" by Jareb Collins (2016)
- "2 AM at a Motel in the City" by Cory Cone (2016)
- "Sunrise" by Madeline Curtis (2015)
- "The Big Blow-Up" by Dave D'Alessio (2016)
- "Momentum" by Kris Dinnison (2016)
- "A Study in Grey" by Sarah Doebereiner (2016)
- "The Redaction of Flight 5766" by Eric Gregory (2006)
- "Retirement Plan" by Jack Hillman (2016)
- "Choose Your Kid's Adventure" by Meghan Renee Jenkins (2016)
- "Stan" by Rosalie Kempthorne (2016)
- "Great Expectations" by M.E. Kerr (2001)
- "Frog Soup" by Floris M. Kleijne (2016)
- "Never Will I Ever" by Kaleigh Longe (2016)
- "Repeat One" by Andrew Neil McDonald (2016)
- "The Cost to Be Wise" by Maureen F. McHugh (1996)
- "GI Jesus" by Susan Palwick (1996)
- "On Impulse" by Rita A. Popp (2016)
- "Candle, Card and Mirror" by Stephen S. Power (2016)
- "Killing the Morrow" by Robert Reed (1996)
- "Slow Bullets" by Alistair Reynolds (2015)
- "I Blame the Kardashians" by Tess Riesmeyer (2016)
- "In the Depths of the Museum" by R. Rozakis (2016)
- "Lonesome" by Tarah Scalzo (2015)
- "Future Fragments, Six Seconds Long" by Alex Shvartsman (2016)
- "Strawberry Kisses" by Carl Steiger (2016)
- "Expendable" by Katherine Toran (2016)
- "The Happiest Place" by Carrie Vaughn (2009)
- "Drink Me" by H. Victory (2016)
- "A Piece of Her Self" by Liz Walker (2016)
- "The Passing of the Book" by Gerald Warfield (2016)
- "A Wrinkle Ironed Out" by Alison Wilgus (2016)
- "Insurrection" by Oscar Windsor-Smith (2016)
- "Blind Side" by Peter Wood (2016)

List of the sources from which these stories came:

(alphabetical by anthology title, magazine title, website name, etc.)

- Abyss & Apex, 3rd quarter 2016
- Daily Science Fiction, July 2016
- Diabolical Plots, July 2016
- Escape from Earth (anthology), edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois, 2006
- Every Day Fiction, July 2016
- Mash Stories, August 2016
- On the Fringe (anthology), edited by Donald R. Gallo, 2001
- One Teen Story, Oct 2015; Dec 2015; June 2016
- Realms of Fantasy, Feb 2009
- Starlight 1 (anthology), edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, 1996
- Sybil's Garage, no. 3, 2006
- Trigger Warning: Short Fiction with Pictures, July 2016
- Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, June 2016

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