1. “Motherland” by Jasmine Ang started Feb strong. Emotionally charged, the work explores the theme of separation. The “science fiction” angle comes in, I believe, by providing an example of how technology both lessens the sense of separation and intensifies it. Feb is the coldest month of the year here in Alabama so feelings of isolation and sorrow seem to dovetail my weather perfectly.
2. “Lingua Flanka” by David M. Armstrong was heavy handed. The opening and the middle felt intellectually insulting. I’m including it because it covers themes that I think are important to discuss but even then, the work feels muddied. Like Armstrong wanted to be controversial but didn’t understand how to do even that basic part well. I appreciate the attempt for artists by interspersing different narrative elements, but the execution left a lot to be desired. Great theming and ambition.
3. “Dispell” by Preston E Dennett was cute. The fantasy theme was notable, and given my preferences, made me more likely to enjoy it. There were elements that I found distasteful. The female voice, in particular, felt stilted, as if the author had never spoken for very long with a woman or as if the author has only known and women in very shallow ways. But I thought the punch line at the end was worth the read. And I want to give the author some props for trying to explore an element of society it seems clear he doesn’t get. There’s both a thoughtful and boorish execution to it.
4. I really love Mary E. Lowd’s work. “Heart of the Gas Giant” is a continuations of her other stories. I’m beginning to see a larger picture where her characters go to the same places in space to achieve different goals, or where we will focus on a different main character but still get an update on the last main character. Her ability to summarize the last stories in a line or two, are pretty inspiring. I’d like a collection of all her little works in a larger work. She brings a childlike joy and wonder to the vast array and variation of space. But her stories are written in a way I think all ages could appreciate them.
5. “Resolve, in Four Heartbeats” by Kell Rajasalu is great. The work is confusing in several angles, but by the end, I understood the basics of what had happened and felt like I’d read a longer arch than she’d offered. She had deeper characters in her short than make authors achieve in novel length works.
6. I really enjoyed “Kicking the Football” by Margaret Sessa-Hawkins. It’s sweet and very tightly written. While it has a huge advantage because it’s about characters we are all largely familiar with, it still successfully captivates it’s own unique concept. This to me, is the spirit of excellent fan fiction and what elevates something from copyright infringement to it’s own concept.
7. “The Ones Who Chose the Rain” by George Edwards Murray was a sad story. I don’t know exactly what I liked, possibly the genre, but the work struck me. It’s filled with ennui and pain. Don’t read if you’re depressed.
8. “Introducing Your Parents to the Spoils of Adventure” by Bryan McNab was funny, told in second person, and fantasy genre. What more do you need?
9. “The Sword” by Mari Ness was a fun update on a “classic” medieval scenario. I didn’t love it, but it was a cute short story with a reasonable close. There was a story earlier this month that I waffled on whether in include and ultimately dismissed it because there wasn’t enough going on and this one made it in because there was a “diverse voice” and I am swayed by scenes I see less if even when I think they lacked some indefinable element.
10. “Fight for the Stars” by Shannon Fay was a well constructed complete world. She took a story that I’d have hated to see play out in the three hour movie and boiled it down to an enjoyable 1000 words. The story kept me engaged in each word. Instead of liking it “in spite of it’s length” as I do many short stories, I actually think the format os part of what allowed me to be taken in and really become enchanted by it.
Overall, February was an interesting month for Daily Science Fiction. The works I chose were by authors who had a lot less on their resumes than last month’s authors. I wonder if there is a trend to how Daily Science Fiction groups it’s works. It has felt random as a reader, but collecting through collecting all the works I found value in, I hope to find patterns. Impatience is a major fault of mine though, so I’ll have to see what next month brings!
Want to check out January’s Science Fiction picks? Check it out here