Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Haldeman, Bear, Hoffman, and Other Great Free Fiction and More

Some great stuff today including SF great Joe Haldeman's Nebula award winning short story "Graves" in both Fiction and Audio Fiction, Elizabeth Bear and Nina Kiriki Hoffman in Audio Fiction.  There are other potentially great stories in those two categories as well as E-Books and Flash Fiction. A few cool comics round out the freebies and there are a few science and Hobbit news items for those interested. Lastly, the resident blathering blowhard, yours truly, weighs in on Mankind: The Story of All of Us

[Art from "Dracula" in Comics below]

At The Colored Lens: "The Illusionist" by Bruce Holland Rogers.
     "When Jerome’s father died, his mother started visiting mediums and spiritualists, and Jerome would come along and sit in the room while his father’s messages were conveyed to the land of the living. This was the beginning of his interest in crystal balls, velvet cushions, bright scarves, and other accoutrements of magic. Before he was even a teenager, Jerome knew that communication with the dead was a confidence game"

At Nightmare Magazine: "Graves" by Joe Haldeman. Horror. 1993.
     "I have this persistent sleep disorder that makes life difficult for me, but still I want to keep it. Boy, do I want to keep it. It goes back twenty years, to Vietnam. To Graves."  the Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award for best short story in 1993.

Flash Fiction
  • At Daily Science Fiction: "Old Flames"by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. 
  • At Every Day Fiction: "Consuming" by Peter Tupper. Science Fiction.
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "Beaming" by Duncan Shields. Science Fiction.
  • At Yesteryear Fiction: "The Storm" by TRS. Fantasy, short poem.
Via Pixel of Ink:
At Free eBooks Daily.
At Smashwords
Audio Fiction
At Nightmare Magazine: "Graves" by Joe Haldeman. Horror.
     See "Fiction" above. 

At PodCastle: Giant Episode: "The Tricks of London" by Elizabeth Bear.
      "“That’s the third damned dead whore in seventeen days,” Detective Inspector Rupert Bitner said, his educated tones incongruous to his choice of words. He slurped tea loudly from the chipped enamel lid of a vacuum flask."

At StarShipSofa: Episode No. 264.
 "In Their Garden" by Brenda Cooper.
     "I’m running back through the desiccated woods, going too fast to keep the sticks and branches that have fallen from the trees from cracking under my weight. My skin and mouth are dry. The afternoon sun has sucked all the water from me, and I haven’t stopped to drink."
"Futures in the Memories Market" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
      "You can't do anything else when you emp one of Geeta Tilrassen's memory modules. Her senses seize you; you see through her eyes, taste with her tongue, hear with her ears. And touch? You've never felt air against your skin until you've felt it breathe across hers."
Free Comics
Hobbit and Oz News
Science News
Mini-review: Mankind: The Story of All of Us - Episode One. History Channel.
About: The History Channel's whirlwind tour of history. Episode one covered important discoveries and inventions.  This was a rather disappointing attempt to create a history equivalent of Planet Earth.

The Good: Many individual scenes were interesting enough, though too brief and generally lacking in real context. The visuals were good, though not nearly what the hype would have one believe.

The Bad: The very nature of the show lends itself to a limited, shallow interpretation of critical historical events. It focused too much on events and too little on the various cultures involved with these events. Worse, it took controversial opinions, such as the idea that Stonehenge was a memorial to the dead, and presented them as established facts. And worst, the series deliberately eschewed actual experts and relied on celebrities (Brian Williams, Dr. Oz, Anthony Bourdain) to give what are, at best, semi-informed opinions.

Final Rating: 5 of 10. Read a couple history books instead of watching this series.

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