Light science fiction reading

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading short stories and novellas collected in the annual anthology by Gardner Dozois (for 2013 and 1995).  Here’s a few recommendations:


  • Indraparamit Das, “Weep for a Day” A really nice “classical” tale of a child slowly coming of age as her society explores/conquers the wild and those who live there.
  • Paul McAuley, “The Man” Bittersweet tale of our common yearning for connection, somehow.  I did not like, however, his other story in the collection, “Macy Minnot’s…’
  • Megan Lindholm, “Old Paint” A sort of sweet tale, again about coming of age.  I did not know she was author of one of my sons favorite fantasy books, Assassin’s Apprentice.
  • Eleanor Arnason, “Holmes Sherlock” A good description  like Le Guin of a matriarchal world, but the story ultimately not that compelling.  (I see now that Wikipedia also makes the Le Guin comparison.)
  • Robert Reed, “Katabasis” Actually my favorite story in the collection.  About dealing with the past.  A nice review with spoilers is here.  But his story in the 1995 volume, “A Place with Shade” was underwhelming.


  • Ursula K. Le Guin.  Her two stories, “A Woman’s Liberation” and “Coming of Age in Karhide” were both quite enjoyable.
  • Maureen McHugh, “The Lincoln Train” is a nice alt-history, quite short and to-the-point.
  • Geoff Ryman, “Home” strikes a nerve I am sure for people over a certain age as the younger generation casts you aside.
  • Paul McAuley, “Recording Angel” Very interesting even though I could barely figure it out!  The link has an afterword that is worth reading.  Notice his story in 2013 was also one of my favorites.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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