Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Five stories

I linked a while ago to nwhyte's page where he has brought together a comprehensive range of links around this year's Hugo awards. I meant to follow this up with my own reviews. I gave my opinions on the short stories a few weeks ago. This time I thought I would do the novelettes. As before you can download them all if you are interested. I enjoyed reading each one, though each has its drawbacks.

"Bernardo's House", by James Patrick Kelly. This is a fairly wholesome and well written story about a girl-computer and a girl making friends in kind of tragic circumstances.

"Legions in Time " By Michael Swanwick. Another story about women friends. I like this tendency. It's not a spoiler to say this is a time-travel story (duh). I think this is an example of a time travel story that makes some kind of sense, and has (this is a spoiler I guess) a strong idea at its core, as the resistance to the evil future actually brings the evil future into being. I think this is a strong enough idea, and the women characters are interesting enough, to sustain a longer story. In this format it reads a little bit too glib and hurried at the end. So go for it Mr Swanwick.

."Nightfall"" by Charles Stross. This is heavy duty SF, with many various and disturbing ideas in there that kept creeping back into my mind for days after I read it. Having said that, for much of the story I wasn't entirely clear about what was going on, at least at a meta-level. You may or may not like. This is the kind of SF which reminds you that you are becoming obsolete. In fact this is butch SF.

"Into the Gardens of Sweet Night"", by Jay Lake. e-book, free download but I couldn't be bothered, or indeed understand what I had to do, so not read

"The Empire of Ice cream", by Jeffrey Ford. I reviewed this briefly before. Not so much SF as a well plotted and written psychological reverie about synaesthesia.

Hexagons ", by Robert Reed. I liked this. After Night Fall it was the story that gave me most after-thoughts. It's alternative-history, at the more imaginative end of the type, and you either like this kind of thing or not. The psychology of the characters was pretty good, the politics pretty good, the plotting and exposition a bit duff. NB - I am being stupid here, but I am not sure who the very final character was 'supposed to be' - Jack Kennedy perhaps?
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