Friday, March 2, 2012

Let 'Em Breathe the Hollow Space Inside the Cult of Egil

Hello all of you again! It's another Friday, and that means that I have another three stories for you. I know I originally only thought I would be doing two a week, but it looks like three has now become the norm. It's also become a habit. And one I can live with for that.

Just a little heads up for tomorrow. I know that I've been talking a lot about movies lately and kind of slacking on the reading I was trying to hold myself to, but tomorrow I want to get back to literature. I haven't been able to finish a whole book this week (been kind of busy lately), however, I will try to throw in a couple more short stories, and I'll make them fun-loving, gun-toting, adventure-seeking weekend stories that will make you want to turn off the TV, pop up a bag of popcorn, and take a rest in the laziest chair in your house. Well, maybe they won't be amazing to those standards, though they will be fun, so be sure to come back sometime and check it out.

Anyways, returning to the point of this post, the stories are "And the Hollow Space Inside" by Mari Ness, "Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Cult of Egil" by Carrie Vaugn, and "Let 'Em Breathe Space" by Lester Del Rey.

And the Hollow Space Inside by Mari Ness -- Clarkesworld Magazine

As short as this story is, it connects with feelings more than the other two stories combined, if there is such a way to quantify emotions, add them together, and then weigh them against one another. It's a tale of a mother letting go of a daughter who she feels like she never had. The main character had a daughter, but the child needed implants as an infant in order to live and thus became more machine than daughter, at least in the eyes of Crystal (our main character). She signs some papers and the child is taken away. Crystal tries to keep her distance, yet feels pulled back in to a life that she would rather forget. Then one day her daughter contacts her and asks for permission to return to space.

I'll leave it at that. There's a link up above. You should definitely go give it a look. The story runs between 4,000 and 4,500 words, so it shouldn't take that long to read.

Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Cult of Egil by Carrie Vaugn -- Lightspeed Magazine

This story starts out like an Indiana Jones movie with Harry, our heroine, running through tunnels of an ancient Icelandic volcano, avoiding the members of the cult chasing her down for stealing one of their religious relics, and then it quickly changes to a steam-punk story, as she leaps out onto a flying airship called a gondola, captained by Marlowe. The two then try to fly back to England to return the relic which is actually an alien artifact to her brother, however, they must avoid the wall of fighting created by the war just outside of the British islands.

Let 'Em Breathe Space by Lester Del Rey

Running a little bit longer than the other two stories, Let 'Em Breathe Space may actually sit somewhere between a novella and a novel, at least lengthwise. It's about a crew on a ship bound for Saturn who seem to begin to experience cabin fever. After a poisoning of the food, the killing of the plants that provide the oxygen to the ship, and some murders of crew members, things begin to get a little crazy. And the trust between the crew comes to question. The question behind this story is "can the crew find the killer-saboteur before they all run out of oxygen?"

I don't know if I would recommend reading this story, mainly because it runs a little bit longer and it can be hard to connect to the story/characters at times. However, it is definitely worth the listen if you have the dead time to spare. With that, I'll just point out that this story is also available as an audiobook via Librovox, so if you find that you may not have the time (or energy) to read it, you might be able to listen to it during a commute or a workout or some other task throughout the day, instead.

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