Saturday, June 23, 2012

James Dean, a Dragon Queen, and a Bunch of Leadies

Where does all our time go? It's already Saturday, and I haven't had too much of a chance to write this out most of the week. Well, let's just get all of these tardy posts out of the way today. We might as well, right? There are three four late posts counting this one. I had planned to post all of them today, but I'm just getting this post up now, late on Saturday night. I'll get the other two three posts up for you tomorrow. I hope that sounds good for you. And then we'll start the week off fresh with a couple more posts from me for the new schedule. Wow, a lot more work than I expected. For me, right now, it's it's not being on time, but rather making sure that I get this stuff done and out. Then I can worry about being on time.

Back to main point of this post, the stories. There's three of them again. Just like always. This post, the stories include "The Cristóbal Effect" by Simon McCaffery, "Catastrophe Baker and the Dragon Queen" by Mike Resnick, and, last but definitely not least, "The Defenders" by Philip K. Dick. Here are your stories. Let your weekend of reading now commence.

The Cristóbal Effect by Simon McCaffery-- Lightspeed Magazine
At the beginning of this month, I mentioned "The Cross-Time Accountants Fail to Kill Hitler Because Chuck Berry Does the Twist" by C. C. Finlay out of Lightspeed's May issue. Why do I mention it now? Because these two stories share a certain science fiction trope: time-travel. Technically, it's not time travel in "The Cristóbal Effect." Instead, it's parallel universes and you are able to go to certain points in time. Semantics.. The big question in this story is, "What would have happened if James Dean had lived?" And it's a very fair assessment of alternate-future realities.

Catastrophe Baker and the Dragon Queen by Mike Resnick -- Ray Gun Revival
This was a rather straight-forward story. We see everything through the eyes of the main character, Catastophe Baker, a man who is larger than life. Morally ambiguous, he steals beats up goons and steals from the common man to make a living. And this time, the goods he steals belongs to one powerful person: the Dragon Queen. How does he make it out of this one? Read to find out.

The Defenders by Philip K. Dick -- Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1953
Many say the author of our last story is a genius. Others say he was crazy. I want to say Philip K. Dick was a little bit of both. Unfortunately, not a lot of either come out in this story. In this story, humans have lived in deep underground bunkers for the last eight years due to the radiation from a nuclear war. However, the higher ups find out that the leadys (the robots that work up above) that come down to the bunkers no longer contain traces of radiation. Something must be different up above, some of them think. They go up to the surface and check it out. But what they find up there shocks more than awes them. What do they learn? Read and find out.

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