Tag Archives: yoon ha lee

Mission Critical

Unknown.jpegAs a rule, I really enjoy Strahan’s anthologies, and this one intrigued me: the stories of when things go wrong. These are small stories and large, set in our near space and a very long way away – in time as well as space – and stories where not everything ends up well. You already know something is going to go wrong.

I didn’t love every story in the book; it’s an anthology, so that’s no surprise. To my own surprise I did not love the Greg Egan story that starts it: it was fine, but it didn’t have quite the… flair… that I like from his work usually. Ah well. There were plenty of stories I did love. Linda Nagata’s was in the vein of AI-gone-wrong, and I really enjoyed the characterisation. Gregory Feeley’s is set on Mars, like Nagata’s, with a completely different set of problems and hints at a whole bunch of background issues that intrigued me. Possibly not one to read if you’re feeling sensitive about children in danger. Going way off into the distance, temporally and spatially, Tobias S Buckell sets up a really intriguing society and a problem that verges on a “Cold Equations” scenario. I loved the characters a lot, and would absolutely read a novel or three set in this place.

Despite what the Goodreads page says, this book does not have an Alastair Reynolds story. To my disappointment, as you can imagine. There is, however, a Yoon Ha Lee story, and these days that pretty nearly makes me as happy. And “The Empty Gun” absolutely delivers in cold hard explosive story that I could not hope to guess the ending of. Same goes for Peter F Hamilton’s story. I’ve read only a few things by him, and it’s been a bit hit and miss – I think because he often verges on, or is outright, horror – but this one, set in our solar system but many, many years away, is amazing: the changes to humanity necessary for survival, the uncomfortable conception of maternity, and the outrageous version of a bad roadtrip. The final story, by Peter Watts, is a fairly uncomfortable place to end the anthology – it absolutely works, but it’s a grim view of the future, and one that feels if not plausible then at least imaginable.

This is a highly enjoyable anthology with a good range of stories; I’ve only covered maybe half of them here. The theme is broad enough that you’d almost not know that the authorsĀ were writing to a theme, except for all the time things go wrong. Many of the stories are long enough that they get to develop their worlds and characters a bit more than in a short-short. Definitely one to read if you’re after some wide-ranging SF.

Hexarchate Stories

42201485.jpgI am a huge fan of the Machineries of Empire series, which apparently I haven’t reviewed here and that’s a terrible oversight. So I was very excited to finally get this, and dive into the back story of the empire in general and Jedao specifically, and Cheris too. Many of the stories are quite short snippets, which I found intriguing, and they definitely add to the overall character development.

And then I got to “Glass Cannon”, at the end. And then I realised that it was basically a continuation of the final novel. So then I had to stop, about 5 pages in, and go back to the start… so I’ve read the whole trilogy again in the last week. And it’s still amazing and breathtaking and heartwrenching.

(Massive spoilers below…) Continue reading →

Galactic Suburbia 168: Live from Melbourne!

In which we Continuum all the Continuum! Our live podcast, recorded on the afternoon of June 11 2016, with us still buzzing, inspired and surrounded by cake. Alex has a travel announcement. Alisa is knitting. You can get us atĀ iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

Continuum 13! We were there!

Seanan McGuire’s Guest of Honour Hour

Likhain’s GOH speech on YouTube & written version. (We hadn’t seen this when we recorded so don’t mention it in the episode but PLEASE read/watch it.)

Rivqa Rafael’s Continuum tweets Storified.

Mother of Invention: our campaign is past $11,000 and still going!

CULTURE CONSUMED:

Alisa: Hidden Figures; The Happy Place; Disney on Ice: Frozen

Tansy: Heathers: The Musical/Heathers, Wonder Woman

Alex: Wonder Woman; The Blacklist; Hugo reading: Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee; All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders; That Game We Played During the War, Carrie Vaughn;

Q&A: we answer your questions & take on your conversation topics. Thanks SO MUCH to our darling audience, who filled our seats, howled when we needed you to, came up with questions, and stayed blissfully quiet the rest of the time. If you hear a moment of odd, no-context-provided hilarity, just assume something funny has happened involving one of the Galactic Suburbia Gentleman’s Auxilary, or that someone is gesturing with cake.

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon – which now includes access to the ever so exclusive GS Slack – and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!