Connie Willis – Ado (1988)

Connie Willis‘s short story Ado was first published in the January 1988 issue of Asimov’s magazine. I read this in Willis’s 1993 short story collection Impossible Things.

Ado is a satirical cautionary tale about an English Literature teacher attempting to teach Shakespeare in a world where sensitivity to offence is taken to its logical extreme.

The themes of this story are so closely tied to its narrative that I found it impossible to talk about it any meaningful way without being spoilterific. So if you haven’t read the story, I’d recommend reading it prior to listening to the review.

Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know.

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Transmission

TRANSMISSION 2421-11-24-013-US32B

I’m going to die. RIght. Okay. This is my last message. <static> Something has breached the capsule. Fuck. There’s a lot of junk out there. Oxygen levels are <static> minutes.

I know I’m too far away <static> to be picked up in time and by the time this message gets to Earth, I’ll already <static>.

Control: please relay this to my wife and son. Gloria, I love you <static> our wedding day – you were so beautiful. I wish <static>. The truth is we can’t look back – regrets will only destroy you and you’ve got nothing to be sorry for. I forgive <static>

Josh, I need you to be strong for your mother – you’re going to be the man of the house now, which means <static>. You can do it. I know you can. I love you.

I know there’s no God. The universe is more vast and wonderful than we could ever begin to comprehend. This doesn’t make me sad, doesn’t <static> it means there’s more to appreciate and find <static> would only undermine that. <static>

I’ve been trained for this. I’m prepared, I’m at peace with <static> I won’t be in pain, it will be like falling asleep. I won’t suffer, you need to know that.

I’m just trying to remember what it was my father said before he died. He said it’s not about <static> and that’s always struck me as getting right to the truth of all this.

<static> for over a month now and this is the first time I’ve really taken in the view. It really is beautiful. <static> that the final thing I’ll see is. Wow. <static>

Love is. Love is so important – it’s the most important. I’d say I’m going to miss you, but we know <static> happen. I know this is cold, but it’s true.

Didn’t someone once say we’re still alive through the people whose lives we’ve touched? The smiles and <static>. It sounds corny, but there’s some truth in that. At least I hope there’s truth <static> so please try and hold onto that, try and keep that in your heart.

Fuck. You can do this. You can do <static> do this.

Josh, please. Gloria.

Oh man, that was. Starting to feel a bit.

That <static>

I <static> definitely running out.

Oh God. Please Lord. Forgive <static>

Thank you. Thank

TRANSMISSION ENDS

 

This text is copyright 2016 by Jon Cronshaw, released under a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons Licence.  

 

Hugh Howey – Deep Blood Kettle (2013)

Hugh Howey‘s short story Deep Blood Kettle was published by Lightspeed Magazine in April 2013 and reprinted in the anthology Wastelands 2, edited by John Joseph Adams.

Deep Blood Kettle is a first contact story where the aliens give Earth an ultimatum.

Have you read this story? What did you think? Tell me about your favourite short science fiction stories on Twitter @ShortSFReview.

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Judith Merril – That Only a Mother (1948)

Judith Merril‘s short story That Only a Mother was first published in the June 1948 issue of Astounding magazine. The version I read was in the anthology Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One (1929-1964).

That Only a Mother tells the story of mother who gives birth to a child against a background of fear about radiation, nuclear weapons and genetic mutation.

Have you read this story? Let me know what you think.

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Cory Doctorow – The Man Who Sold the Moon (2014)

Cory Doctorow‘s novella The Man Who Sold the Moon was first published in the 2014 anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn.

The Man Who Sold the Moon is a near-future story about the potential of 3D printing and the fun that can be had at Burning Man.

Have you read this story? What did you think?

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Beth Goder – Windows (2016)

Beth Goder‘s short story Windows first appeared on the Escape Pod podcast episode 523 on March 1, 2016, as part of its second annual Artemis Rising series of stories by women and non-binary genders.

Windows tells the story of an academic working on a distant world whose job is to study alien cultures.

Have you read this story? Let me know what you think.

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Joe Haldeman – More than the Sum of His Parts (1985)

Joe Haldeman‘s short story More than the Sum of His Parts was first published in the May 1985 edition of Playboy and reprinted by Lightspeed magazine.

More than the Sum of His Parts tells the disturbing story of an engineer who is transformed into a cyborg following an industrial accident.

Have you read this story? Let me know what you think.

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