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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

 

Ever feel like things just aren’t going your way? My free fiction selection for the day is “Non-Zero Probabilities” by N. K. Jemisin (Clarkesworld, September 2009) ~3400 words.

This 2009 Nebula Award Nominee and 2010 Hugo Award Nominee introduces us to a new New York City, one in which the rules of probability have dramatically changed, and only sometimes for the better:

In the mornings, Adele girds herself for the trip to work as a warrior for battle. First she prays, both to the Christian god of her Irish ancestors and to the orishas of her African ancestors — the latter she is less familiar with, but getting to know. Then she takes a bath with herbs, including dried chickory and allspice, from a mixture given to her by the woman at the local botanica. (She doesn’t know Spanish well, but she’s getting to know that too. Today’s word is suerte.)

Enjoy!

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The goal of the Tomorrow Project is to use science fiction to “spark conversations about the future.” This international project taps ideas from today’s emerging technologies, including synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and 3D printing, and spins out possible impacts on future society.

The good news is that it’s not all killer AIs and artificial plagues:) As they so succinctly put it,

Science fiction is a way to think about how we want the future to be.

Anthology Titles:

Enjoy, fellow futurists!

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Today we have a double dose of free fiction! The first comes from David D. Levine at Tor.com:

Damage” is a tale of desperate times, desperate measures, and the inner life of a fighter spacecraft.

This thoughtful short story of a ship and its master has been nominated for the 2015 Nebula Awards. (If you liked Ann Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy I imagine this could appeal to you as well.) For more on the stories selected for this year’s Nebulas, including select links to full-text versions, check out the complete list of nominees.

The second dose is more like a raging river. Up and Coming is a collection of works by authors eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016, and is now available for free download. That’s over a million words of fiction!

The anthology is free free free but only until March 31. Get it while it’s available and enjoy:)

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26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss, by Kij Johnson (no relation:)

Winner of the 2009 World Fantasy Award.
Winner of the 2008 Asimov’s magazine Readers Award for best short story.
Final ballot, 2008 Hugo Award.
Final ballot, 2008 Nebula Award.
Mentioned on Locus Magazine’s 2008 Recommended Reading list.
Read by Diane Severson as a charming audio reading at StarShipSofa.com.

This lovely story is subtle but with great atmosphere, and the ending packs a punch. Find more of Kij’s fiction and poetry on her website.

Happy Leap Day, and enjoy!

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One of the best ways to understand writing and how to connect with an audience, I find, is to read. A lot. As I read, I ask myself which stories stick with me and why, which annoy me and why, which suck me in so completely that I forget to think about the how and focus only on the what.

For today’s free fiction we have the winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, “Bridesicle”* [audio available from Escape Pod], by Will McIntosh. It’s a lovely twist on the classic science fiction theme of cryogenics, and it’s exactly the sort of story that sticks with me.

Originally published in Asimov’s, this touching tale also won the 2010 Asimov’s Reader Poll and was a finalist for the 2010 Nebula Award. If you like the story and want to explore the world further, the author also expanded the story into a full-length novel titled Love Minus Eighty.

Enjoy!

 

* Update: I originally posted a link to what I thought was a freely available version of the story text but! as it’s copyrighted material the link has been removed. It’s still a great story and it’s still available through Escape Pod, narrated by Amy Sturgis, or check out Love Minus Eighty.

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Today’s free fiction comes from Ann Leckie of Ancillary fame and more. “Hesperia and Glory” was her first SF&F sale, and she blogs about the story and her experience writing it as part of the Clarion West writers workshop:

…all the best advice in the world (and trust me, it was fabulous advice for the story I appeared to have written) isn’t useful if it’s not for your story.

“Hesperia and Glory” is available free as part of a special issue of Subterranean Magazine guest-edited by John Scalzi. Also in this issue, stories by Rachel Swirsky, Jo Walton, Elizabeth Bear and more.

Heck, since I’m at it, let me link two other Leckie stories I read in the past few weeks, both in the Imperial Radch universe:

Night’s Slow Poison from Tor.com
She Commands Me and I Obey from Strange Horizons

Enjoy!

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What’s this, what’s this? Libraries that will let you check out musical instruments plus have a librarian trained to help patrons with the tricky bits? That’s something I like.

Pennsylvania Libraries Will Let You Check Out a Ukulele
There’s a strange sound emerging from some Pennsylvania libraries. It’s not the sound of pages turning or scanners scanning—it’s the distinctive dainty, nimble strum that comes from a ukulele.

Even in the age of the internet libraries are incredible resources, and this just adds to the awesome. Not that I play ukelele, but that’s kind of the point. Libraries let you sample a wide variety of knowledge, experience, and perspectives. Yesterday a Moroccan cookbook, today space opera, tomorrow ukelele:)

How great is that?

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