Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Nomad, a Not-So-Quite Perfect Score, and a Race of Warriors

Would you look at that? Its only been a few hours, and I'm already back. Anyways, enough of the shenanigans. Let's get straight down to it. I have three stories for you this week, much like I have been doing in the previous few months. By now you should know how I like to roll. Two newer stories and one as a blast from the past. "Nomad" by Karin Lowachee and "Ten with a Flag" by Joseph Paul Haines are this week's recent stories, and Robert Sheckley's "Warrior Race" comes to us from just over half a century ago. So, with no further ado, please read on and learn more about these stories.

Nomad by Karin Lowachee -- Lightspeed Magazine

In a not so distant future, our armor will adapt to us, and we to it. That's the way that Lowachee envisions it at least. The armor of the future will be sentient and will be just as much a part of us as we are a part of it. In this story, the armor's fuse is broken and its human destroyed. How does it cope and live on? Read and find out.

Ten with a Flag by Joseph Paul Haines -- Brave New Worlds (anthology ed. by John Joseph Adams)

What happens in a future where we know everything about our children before they are even born? That's sort of the idea that Haines plays with in this story. A score of ten means your child is perfect in almost every single way, but a flag, well, that means that the parents have to sacrifice something for the child. Often times that means that the child will be born with some sort of birth defect or other kind of problem. So, a perfect score with a flag is one of the most confusing things that could happen to a young family in this future. Normally, I would say read on and see how they confront their problem, but this story isn't necessarily available for free online. If you would like to read it, the story is available in John Joseph Adams dystopian anthology Brave New Worlds.

Warrior Race by Robert Sheckley

Imagine you're a rocketeer and you've run out of fuel. The closest place to "gas up" is a planet inhabited by beings who fight by committing suicide. That's the premise of Sheckley's story. It's really fun and it actually gave me an idea for a short story. I've sort of run into three challenges thus far, though. I want to modernize the story for a more current audience, I want to make the idea mine (so no copying action for action what Sheckley has done), and I want to make the story PG (no blood, no cruel deaths, something kids could read). Just in that, it feels like I've already set myself up for failure, but I think I can do it. And, if I let myself ponder, I know I'll come up with something cool.

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