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April 4th, 2009

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07:00 pm - Short story discussions
There's an interesting set of posts on Torque Control discussing various BSFA nominated short stories, and there are links to the stories online too. Recommended to those who like SF - none of these stories are a disappointment or a waste of time.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang.

Little Lost Robot by Paul McAuley.

Crystal Nights by Greg Egan (I haven't read this story yet)

The biggest split in opinion seems to be about the short story by the female writer M Rickert: Evidence of Love in The Case of Abandonment, direct link to the story here.

The story is about a young girl in a future US, not far in the future, where women who have had abortions are executed in public. Clearly at some level the story is a critique of the extremism - that is, the story speaks only to readers who find those executions wrong. It starts with a quote from a 'Pro-life' campaigner, Randall Terry, saying 'When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you.' I don't think that's the entire point of the story though - if it was it would be of limited interest, because it is an easy case to make against a crappy person that hardly anyone likes.

My feeling is the story is more about how nasty things become normalised, and perfectly nice people don't even notice, just accept the values of the culture they live in. Perhaps some of our values will be seen as just as grotesque in the future.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Thanks for the recs. I'll have a look on the train tomorrow.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
I find it hard to read online - I always need to print them out.
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
I don't always find it easy, but I'll be travelling light, and I need my netbook with me anyway. If it doesn't work I'll print them out later.

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