This is what I have read so far for the short stories/poetry selections I planned for the Deal Me In challenge, except for the poem “The Eve of St Agnes.” I already wrote a separate post about that one.
Clubs: Classic Science Fiction
Raymond Z. Gallun: “Davy Jones’s Ambassador” 1935 1/15/2019
I really liked this one! This is an early first contact story (about first contact with aliens, that is) set at the bottom of the ocean, rather than in space. It is clever, imaginative and a bit sad. Probably my favorite of those I have read so far.
James Blish: “Surface Tension” 1952 1/28/2019
Discovering that the sun will soon explode, scientists create microhumans who can live in a drop of water. This was ok, but not quite as good as the previous story, I thought.
Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore: “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” 1943 2/19/2019
This story is about children who discover another dimension. The editors’ introduction says: “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” is one of his [Kuttner’s] genre masterpieces, in which he alludes to Lewis Carroll (and invokes Carrolls play with mathematical logic) as he parodies the advanced theories of child psychologists and the educational toy industry. If geometric sense really is learned by children at an early age by interacting with the world, most especially with their toys, what if they got toys from the fourth dimension?
Kate Wilhelm “The Planners” 1968 2/23/2019
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Short Story
This is basically a mad scientist story. I didn’t think this was anything special, I’m afraid, but I will wait and see if it has any interesting parallels or connection with the other stories I haven’t read yet.
Spades: Contemporary Science Fiction
Gregory Benford “Exposures” 1982 2/5/2019
Kind of a slice of life story, except that the characters are astronomers. This wasn’t a bad story, but it was a bit dry.
Hearts: Stories on Audio
Peter Beagle: We Never Talk About My Brother Podcastle podcast
This is probably not my favorite Peter Beagle story; that’s probably either “Come Lady Death” or “Salt Wine” (which I read years ago in The Line Between). This is a story about someone who can make stories come true. It is a little bit eerie, but not quite a horror story. As in “Salt Wine,” there’s a great narrator, but for some reason, the other aspects of the story weren’t quite as compelling to me. I have 3 more Podcastle stories on my Deal Me In list, and I might listen to more of them next year.
Natalia Theodoridou: The Birding: A Fairy Tale
World Fantasy Award Winner for Short Fiction: 2018
Strange Horizons podcast (click through to listen or read the story)
The premise of this story is a plague that is turning people into birds. The narrator, Maria, lives in contemporary Greece. She tries to avoid the plague and tells a story about birds to her unborn child, which will eventually dovetail (ha!) with the frame story. This was weird, maybe a bit too surreal for my taste.