I like reading fantasy and science fiction stories, especially flash fiction. In this blog, I plan to review stories and books I’ve read. If they’re available to read for free online, I’ll include a link. I’ll specify whether each post includes spoilers for story endings; this one does not.
I’d love to hear what you thought of the stories I review, and I’d love to hear your story or book suggestions.
While Memory Holds a Seat, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, in Daily Science Fiction
An intergalactic theater troupe sails toward its next destination. What play will the actors perform for this planet? As the younger actors debate, uncomfortable memories arise for the troupe matriarch.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s world glows with color, thanks to vivid details about clothing and food. I especially like the troupe’s sensible approach to spaceship furniture.
This story made me think of the Edema Ruh, the traveling actors and musicians in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles books. Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s troupe members have an easygoing “family by choice when not by blood” air that’s reminiscent of Kvothe’s Edema Ruh band.
I would not recommend this story for children.
Half a Conversation, Overheard While Inside an Enormous Sentient Slug, by Oliver Buckram, in Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2013
I started laughing when I read the title, and I didn’t stop while I inhaled the story. I like very short stories, and this one is a gem. The skillfully crafted title oriented me into the ongoing murder investigation.
I think kids would love the gross-yet-fun humor about slug physiology. Mentions of violence are plentiful, but brief and vague. I do recommend reading this story yourself before sharing it with kids.
Scramble!, by Melissa Mead, in Daily Science Fiction
Humpty Dumpty’s story didn’t end when the king’s horses and the king’s men failed to put him back together. “Scramble!” (a very quick read) will show you what happened next. Melissa Mead builds an intriguing world around the famous fall.
I’m not sure whether this story would suit children. It might, depending on the kid. What do you think?