Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Short Fiction Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a friend had recommended "The evolution of trickster stories among the dogs of North Park after the Change." I finally got around to reading it this week, and I concur. I especially love how formalized the dog stories are, the ritual opening, the standard, every-dog name of the protagonists. An excellent story that earns the accolades it received back when it was published.

From my e-zine reading this week, there were a pair of science fiction stories that stood out: I've enjoyed a number of Yoon Ha Lee's stories in recent years, so I wasn't surprised to find her "Between Two Dragons" to be a rich and elusive read. It's the story of a war hero made supposed traitor by political intrigue, and of what he chooses to do as a result of that. The specifics of what happened and how it's going to turn out are left largely for the reader to puzzle out or imagine.

Bud Sparhawk's "The Tortuous Path" is the opposite in this regard--the full story is spelled out in full view. It's the story of an apprentice to a religious-like order who guide star-faring space ships. He is unaware, though, of how their order is seen by those outside (with hints of Wolfe's Severian here a few times, it seemed to me) as well as what exactly it is that allows them to control the ships. I enjoyed the way the order works, as well as the discovery of their more sinister secrets and the sense of social change.

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