Monday, February 1, 2010 By: Suzanne

Short Story Challenge - January Recap


If you missed signing up for the Short Story Challenge, it's not too late.  Each month I will post a recap to discuss what everyone has read for the challenge. I've decided not to include a new Mr. Linky for each one, as this could get tedious but have everyone who still wants to sign up go back to original post to sign up (which I will leave a link to in every current post). Then leave comments in the current post.

This month I read Asimov's Science Fiction, the February 2010 edition, to satisfy the requirements of the Gold level. Part of the reason I wanted to do this challenge was because I don't read enough short stories and, as a lover of the Sci-fi/fantasy genre, I felt I was leaving out a significant portion of good reads. 
For the most part I was impressed with the level of writing in this magazine, though the very first story was by far the greatest. Although Stone Wall Truth by Caroline M. Yoachim was a complete story on it's own (as I feel a good short story should be), it could very easily be adapted into a longer novel at some point. I know it
 left me wanting more and wanting to know where a longer version of this might lead.

The Wind Blown Man by Aliette de Bodard gets a firm runner up prize. If I hadn't been so blown away (no pun intended here!) by the first story, this one may have been my first choice. It appealed to the side of myself that enjoys Buddhist philosophy. It took that philosophy and turned it on it's side briefly while still telling a beautiful story. This one I would have a hard time seeing as a full novel, unless this were the final chapter. It is so complete on it's own that there is no reason to tell more.

Although not a bad story, the weakest in the magazine was Dead Air by Damien Broderick. I feel Broderick has the great outline of a story but it needs a good editor. He also should look into not trying to pepper his story with as many big words as possible. It's wonderful that he knows what these words mean and that he uses them correctly but it's a distraction for the reader to encounter unnecessarily long words every sentence. It speaks of a slight immaturity. 

I can't wait to read what every one else read this past month. If you're doing one of the lesser levels that don't require a collection every month, leave a comment and let me know how it's going anyway!


Carl V. said...

I read three short story collections:

The Green Hills of Earth by Robert Heinlein, Galaxy Magazine from December 1964, and The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction, Seventh Series (1958) edited by Anthony Boucher.

All three were very enjoyable and you can find links to them, if you are interested, by scrolling down to the bottom of this Challenge page:

Thanks for hosting, it has been really fun thus far. I'm currently jumping back and forth between 4 more science fiction short story collections/anthologies right now.

Tonya said...

well, now I feel like a loser only having read one! I haven't had much time for anything else since I am re-reading the WOT series. I forgot how consuming it can be!

Carl V. said...

Ha! I just happened to get caught up in a frenzy of short story reading. Generally I don't read this many anthologies in a year. Your challenge coupled with the science fiction challenges have just put me in a short story mood.

And yes, WOT can be VERY time consuming.

Simcha said...

I started a fantasy short story collection but have only read a few stories so far. I've heard that short scifi stories are really good, so I want to try a collection of those as well. I've just been having a hard time finding time to read lately.

Carl V. said...

Simcha, if you want to get the best of both worlds I would recommend picking up any of the three Eclipse anthologies edited by Jonathan Strahan. They contain a mix of science fiction AND fantasy stories and have all been highly praised. The latest volume, Eclipse Three, is on shelves now and would be a great place to start.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are reading a collection of Washington Irving short stories aloud to each other. We have til the end of March right? A few of them have been good. I don't think Irving liked women too much. More thoughts when we're done :)

Tonya said...

Yes, the Bronze level is every quarter, so you have time. I look forward to hearing about it!

Veggiemomof2 said...

Here's mine for January:

Veggiemomof2 said...

Love & Death by Carolyn Hart