Announcing: The Gibson Continuum and Other Stories

In these ten short stories, ghosts of 1980s nostalgia haunt a young man searching for the essence of cyberpunk; sentient AIs respond to the death of the last human; a cleaner on Titan Orbiter becomes embroiled in a workers’ revolution; and a man figures out he can live forever by gaming subjective time.

Ranging from a portrait of a dystopian future where institutionalised cannibalism is commonplace to a post-Earth solar system where pirates fight against copyrighted seeds and unaffordable medicines, Jon Cronshaw’s poignant tales reflect on themes of technology, memory, love, and madness with startling imagination.

The Gibson Continuum and Other Stories is a thought-provoking collection examining what it means to be human — perfect for fans of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Samuel R. Delany, and Robert A. Heinlein.

Click HERE to buy today.

Naomi Kritzer – Cat Pictures Please (2015)

Naomi Kritzer‘s short story Cat Pictures Please was published in issue 100 Clarkesworld Magazine in January 2015.

Cat Pictures Please tells the story of sentient AI that tries to help improve people’s lives. The AI is also a big fan of cat pictures and uses them decide on who to help.

Have you read this story? What did you think? Join in the discussion on Twitter @shortsfreview or leave a comment below.

If you’re enjoying these podcasts, please consider leaving a review on iTunes or recommending the show to someone who may enjoy listening.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

 

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Jason Sanford – Death Flowers of Never Forgotten Love (2016)

Jason Sanford‘s short story Death Flowers of Never Forgotten Love was first published in issue 82 of Apex Magazine from March 2016.

Death Flowers of Never Forgotten Love tells the story of an AI installed into a human body grieving for the loss of her boyfriend.

Have you read this story? What did you think? Let me know on Twitter @ShortSFreview, or by leaving a comment below.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

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The Dead Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop

“That was wonderful wasn’t it? Such a talent.” Helena loaded the next reconstruction workshop as her students looked on. “Even if you’re not a fan of his work, I think we can all learn something about writing from Iain Banks.”

Helena looked at the display as Robert Heinlein’s face came into focus: a static image frozen between expressions.

“What works so well with the reconstructions is the advice comes straight from the authror’s writings,” Helena explained. “They aren’t mediated by those so-called rules of writing.” She made a small zig-zig gesture and Heinlein’s image blinked to life.

“There is a secret to selling good fantastical fiction,” he began. “Writing a good plot helps, of course, but it is characters – always characters – that we remember.

“The best characters are those that fulfil the wishes and fantasies of the reader. This is all you need to know.” Heinlein’s portrait gave a slow nod.

“You’re an old engineer, an old physicist – why shouldn’t the old man get the sexy schoolgirl?”

Helena gave a knowing shrug to her students, most of whom looked on with raised eyebrows.

“I like pretty girls – all men like pretty teenage girls. All men want is for a pretty teenage girl to notice them – to notice them as an object of desire – an object of raw, sexual desire.” He paused and pursed his lips as his eyes seemed to fix longingly on some distant point.

“The best characters will be the ones you fall in love with. In the Door Into Summer I wrote about a man falling in love with a ten-year-old girl. This is illegal, but it is something I can explore in fantastic fiction. The old engineer used time travel to marry the girl when she was of legal age. This is good. This is sexy.

“Of course it’s not all about young girls – it’s important, but not everything.”

Helena rolled her eyes and smiled, miming a exaltation to the heavens.

“You can dig deeper. We all love our mothers, we all want to make love to our mothers – our mothers are sexy. In my novel Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long went back in time to have sex with his mother. This is very sexy.

“So you see, you can take a trope of fantastical fiction such as time travel and use it to fulfil your reader’s deepest desires: to be with young girls, to be with their mothers. This is what time travel is for. It is very sexy.

The portrait of Heinlein licked his lips. “Let’s talk about how much fun rape can be. If the woman makes an effort to enjoy it then–.”

Helena gestured frantically toward the display. “I’m so sorry,” she said, turning to her students as her cheeks flushed, “this one’s clearly just a pervert.”

Heinlein’s portrait froze between expressions.

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

John P. Murphy – Claudius Rex (2014)

John P. Murphy‘s novella Claudius Rex was first published in the Alembical 3: A Distillation of Three Novellas collection from 2014.

Claudius Rex tells the story of a private investigator who stumbles across a corpse while attending a job interview and investigates the crime with help of an advanced AI implant.

Have you read this story? What did you think? You can let me know on Twitter @shortsfreview, or you can leave a comment below.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

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Aliette de Bodard – Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight (2015)

Aliette de Bodard‘s short story Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight was published in the January 2015 issue of Clarkesworld Magazine.

It tells the story of how a son, a workmate and a ship’s AI mourn the loss of a top research professor.

The story won the 2015 BSFA Award for the best short story. Have you read it? What did you think?

Follow me on Twitter @jlcronshaw and let me know what you think.

 

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