Stuff I’ve enjoyed recently: Apex has an awesomely creepy story by fellow VDer Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, “59 Beads”:
Air limousines floated by like ghosts in a night filled with a jangle of sounds. A mad juxtaposition of chords, wailing voices and crooned-out tunes mangled by the sound of honking horns, curses and the cries of the desperate filled the dark streets. Cordoba’s End, home to migrants and refugees.
After their parents succumbed to the rot, Pyn and Sienna wandered the streets of Cordoba. Together, they trekked the back side of the posh quarter. Ecstasy street, Ilona’s Oord, Sonatina’s Point, the words tasted as exotic and beautiful as the places themselves.
“You think we’ll ever be rich enough to live on High End?” Sienna asked.
“I don’t know,” Pyn said.
Read more over at Apex.
Rochita is also blogging over at Jeff Vandermeer’s blog on Writing from the Context of my Culture.
I’ve also been reading the anthology Federations by John Joseph Adams, which, while it contains many good stories, isn’t really my cup of tea–there are far too many stories focusing on the military or pseudo-military of the Federations to appeal to me. But I’ve found two gems so far, Yoon Ha Lee “Swanwatch”, about a poet exiled to a space station overlooking a black hole where people commit suicide, and tasked with turning their deaths into art. Very intriguing concept, and a sparse execution that works up to a punchy ending. In a, er, much different vein, “The One with the Interstellar Group Consciousness” by James Alan Gardner, is what would happen if Intergalactic civilisations developped a consciousness, and started looking for their soulmates using 21st-century dating techniques. Hilarious. Still have the Cat Valente story to read, which I’m looking forward to.
In the latest issue of Interzone, I enjoyed Colin Harvey’s “The Killing Streets”, which showcases his ability to depict believable scarce-resource futures with flawed yet sympathetic characters. Mordantly dark, well worth a look (and it almost made me miss my station, which is a sign of how engrossed I was). I also loved Lavie Tidhar’s “Funny Pages”, easily the best story in the issue, a fast and wry tale of Israeli super-heroes and super-villains (bonus points for relooking a particularly famous superhero as the Sabra–I didn’t catch the reference until fairly late in the story, but it was pretty funny when it came up).