Short Fiction

The Seasteading Institute, dedicating to “homesteading” and living on the seas, is having a short story contest. Winners will have their stories featured on the institute’s website.

From their press release:

[Keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Help Promote Prometheus Unbound by Sharing this Post

BOOK REVIEW | The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker Thumbnail

The Empress of Mars
By Kage Baker
Trade paperback, 304 pages
Tor (2009), $10.87

The Empress of Mars was written by the late Kage Baker (June 10, 1952 — January 31, 2010; 1st name pronounced like ‘cage’). It started out as a novella (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine July 2003), which won the 2004 Theodore Sturgeon Award and was nominated for a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, but was later expanded into the full-length novel published in 2009 that I review here.

The Empress of Mars is not Martian royalty. This is not Barsoom, the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs. You won’t find a John Carter-type hero fighting native Martians and rescuing princesses within these pages, though Baker does pay homage to Burroughs’ Mars tales. Tars Tarkas makes an appearance as the Martian Santa Claus, for example.

No, The Empress of Mars is a restaurant and bar owned by one Mary Griffith, an early settler of Mars and former biological scientist. A tough, motherly figure, Mary Griffith embodies the rugged individualism and pioneer spirit that pervades Baker’s The Empress of Mars. Baker’s tale is more scientifically literate than Burroughs’, and qualifies (mostly at least, see below) as hard science fiction, leavened with superior writing and humor. It is set some unspecified time after the year 2186 — marking a past event, the year the Kutuzov expedition discovered Olympus Mons is not an extinct shield volcano, it was the only date I recall seeing in the novel.

The story revolves around Mary, her three daughters, and a host of other quirky characters, some of whom she takes under her wing, others she befriends or does business with, as they deal with at first neglect by and then interference from the bureaucrats of the British Arean Company (BAC).

[Keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Help Promote Prometheus Unbound by Sharing this Post

Clarkesworld Magazine is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine that features at least two original short stories per month from new and established authors as well as artwork, podcasts, and non-fiction articles. Founded in October 2006 by Neil Clarke, its online content is totally free. The magazine has been experimenting with innovative methods of funding. No paywalls or DRM or desperate IP aggression here.

While its content is freely available online, Clarkesworld sells print versions of its fiction. An annual anthology series, Realms, is available in trade paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats. Additionally, several months after online publication, each month’s fiction is collected in chapbook form; the value-add here is that the chapbooks are limited print run (100), numbered editions that are signed by the authors. If you happen to have a tablet pc or ereader, you can also purchase ebook editions of each monthly online issue in epub or mobi/kindle format.

[Keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Help Promote Prometheus Unbound by Sharing this Post

SHORT STORY REVIEW | “Melancholy Elephants” by Spider Robinson Thumbnail

Melancholy Elephants, a Hugo Award winner from 1983,  is the kind of story you get when a talented craftsmen, after some genuine contemplation on a topic, has come up with a unique perspective on an issue, discovered something worth thinking about.  For the libertarian, it has the added attraction of advocating freedom of artistic expression, as well as a frank depiction of government corruption.  Though Spider Robinson’s short work fizzles at the end, it’s engaging and thought-provoking and ultimately worth your time.

Despite the mildly disappointing ending, I cannot find fault with the beginning.  Even the title is exactly what a title should be: odd enough to be intriguing while encapsulating what the story is about, but this becomes obvious only afterwards.  It gives away nothing of the tale at the outset.

The short story format affords an author little time to grab his reader’s attention; Spider Robinson does it in the first paragraph.  The main character, Dorothy Martin, has such a bizarre reaction to a situation she is subjected to that any impulse to put the story down evaporates, rather like what a startle does to the impulse to yawn.

[Keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Help Promote Prometheus Unbound by Sharing this Post

Via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing comes word of this funny piece of flash fiction, a science fiction story disguised as a review of a set of $6,800.00 audio cables, themselves a free market wealth redistribution mechanism in disguise, designed to seduce gullible audiophiles out of their money.

We live underground. We speak with our hands. We wear the earplugs all our lives.

PLEASE! You must listen! We cannot maintain the link for long… I will type as fast as I can.

DO NOT USE THE CABLES!

We were fools, fools to develop such a thing! Sound was never meant to be this clear, this pure, this… accurate. For a few short days, we marveled. Then the… whispers… began.

Were they Aramaic? Hyperborean? Some even more ancient tongue, first spoken by elder races under the red light of dying suns far from here? We do not know, but somehow, slowly… we began to UNDERSTAND.

[Keep reading…]

{ 0 comments }

Help Promote Prometheus Unbound by Sharing this Post

Archives (by Date)

  • 2014 (2)
  • 2013 (20)
  • 2012 (125)
  • 2011 (73)
  • 2010 (22)

Categories

  • Admin Updates (7) 
  • IP (30) 
  • Statism (15) 

Support Prometheus Unbound








$


Donate toward our web hosting bill!




Get 1 FREE Audiobook from Audible with 30;Day FREE Trial Membership


We recommend Scrivener as the best content-generation tool for writers.

Recent Comments