Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking for Silk, Reading in the Key of Prose, and Finding Dope on Mars

Looks like I'm still on some sort of a schedule. Let's hope that it can stay that way. Alright, what do I have for you this week? It looks like another three short stories that you will be able to find online for free. I know, I know. It's a magical word, "free." But yes, it is true: You do not have to pay to read these stories. So, if your Monday is going a little slower than usual, be sure to check one or more of these out. The stories for you this week are "The Silk Merchant" by Ken Liu, "Requiem in the Key of Prose" by Jake Kerr, and "The Dope on Mars" by Jack Sharkey.

The Silk Merchant by Ken Liu -- Apex Magazine
A young man sets out on an adventure to find the perfect piece of silk in order prove that his father was not crazy after all. He goes out and looks for the place from where his father had said the silk had been made. He finds a girl who lets him in. It takes some time, but the young man ends up gaining the trust of the young woman. He falls in love with her and she with him. The spend a lot of time together, but the thought of the perfect silk is always at the back of the young man's mind. He learns where the silk is made and goes there one night. He asks for a piece of the perfect silk. However, he learns that there is a high price for such perfection.

Requiem in the Key of Prose by Jake Kerr -- Lightspeed Magazine
This is a pretty wicked story. Kerr uses different types of prose in order to tell a story. Don't believe me? Examples include foreshadowing, the passive voice, run-on, flashback, and simile. That's not the coolest part. The coolest part is that he uses all of the elements of prose to tell one, mostly linear story. And it makes a lot of sense! A short read, this is definitely one you should check out, especially if you yourself are a writer.

The Dope on Mars by Jack Sharkey -- Galaxy Magazine, June 1960
The classic this week takes us back to Mars. You know, there are plenty of stories about humans landing there. Do you think we will ever actually land a human being on the Red Planet in our lifetime? That's beside point. In this story, told by means of a journalist keeping something similar to a diary, a team of astronauts lands on Mars and begin to do their research. Once out exploring, though, individuals start to go missing, and the survivors begin to realize that they are not alone. No, this is not some sort of horror/thriller story. It's kind of the opposite. But it's still worth the read.

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