Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

The gods of the dream-realms were vicious, angry, and small. History was filled with tales of their irrational rages and disproportionate vengeances, of cities buried in poisonous ash, of garden-lands laid waste. Annihilation. In her far-travelling days, she had walked in god-blasted wastelands. There were so many of them: a transparent plain that was a city buried in glass, the buildings intact and perfectly visible beneath her feet, but the bodies gone except for stained hollows in their shapes. An obsidian cliff a mile high where there had been farmland and fishing villages a scarce year before. Gardens turned to ash and poison, islands sunk. Once, she had found a child’s gold anklet, half-melted and still encircling a small, charred bone. There had been a charm hanging from the ring: Let no thing harm me. I am Ase Iquen. Everywhere, signs of the gods and their intemperate, petty angers. Continue reading “Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe”

Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: The Ballad of Black Tom

Imagine a universe in which all the powers of the NYPD could not defeat a single Negro with a razor blade. Impossible. Impossible.

(The following post contains spoilers. This novella is great; read it first if you can.) Continue reading “Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: The Ballad of Black Tom”

Odds and Ends Shelf: The Dark Forest

“That would be great,” he said, and nodded. “The … the thing you call a belief proposition. I’ve written it here. I want to believe this.” He pulled a neatly folded piece of paper from his breast pocket.

Keiko Yamasuki wanted to explain that according to the PDC resolution, the mental seal was only permitted to operate on one proposition, the one written on the monument at the gate. It had to be done exactly as written, and any alteration was prohibited. But Hines gently stopped her. He wanted to take a look at the proposition the man had submitted first. Unfolding the paper, he read what was written on it:

Katherine loves me. She has never and will never have an affair!

Keiko Yamasuki stifled a laugh, but Hines angrily crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the drunken man’s face. “Get the hell out!”

(The following article has major spoilers for The Three Body Problem and moderate spoilers for The Dark Forest. Both books are good; read them first if you want.)
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Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: Short Stories

“Heart attack far too young; poor kid, should’ve eaten more organic; should’ve taken it easy and not been so angry; the world can’t hurt you if you just ignore everything that’s wrong with it; well, not until it kills you anyway.”
Continue reading “Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: Short Stories”

Albie Awards 2015: Short Stories

“This sort of thing happens often enough, even with boys as mortal as dirt. There’s always one who learned how to brood early and often, and always girls who think they can heal him.

Eventually the girls learn better. Either the hurts are petty little things and they get tired of whining or the hurt’s so deep and wide that they drown in it. The smart ones heave themselves back to shore and the slower ones wake up married with a husband who lies around and suffers in their direction. It’s part of a dance as old as the jackalopes themselves.”
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Albie Awards 2015: Novelettes, Part 2

“I don’t recognize this sailor. She has the dark gray hair and flattened facial features common to the blue shark mods. There are fourteen blues currently serving on this vessel. I can’t be blamed if I can’t tell them apart. Sometimes I’m not even sure they can tell themselves apart. Blues have a strong schooling instinct, strong enough that the labs considered recalling them shortly after they were deployed. The brass stepped in before anything permanent could happen. Blues are good for morale. They fight like demons, and they fuck like angels, and they have no room left in their narrow predators’ brains for morals. If not for the service, they’d be a danger to us all, but thankfully, they have a very pronounced sense of loyalty.”
Continue reading “Albie Awards 2015: Novelettes, Part 2”

Albie Awards 2015: Novelettes, Part 1

“What our religion tells us, the part that is a religion, is that the gods created life to try and make meaning. It’s ultimately hopeless, and even gods die, but the effort is real. Will always have been real, even when everything is over and no one remembers.”
Continue reading “Albie Awards 2015: Novelettes, Part 1”