Saturday, August 24, 2013

Celebrating the Births . . . Orson Scott Card and Paul Matthew Jessup

Orson Scott Card (born August 24, 1951)
      A Science Fiction and Fantasy writer who is best known for his Ender series, Card has won both  Hugo and Nebula awards. He has written numerous stories, but the controversy surrounding his political views has lately overshadowed his fiction. 

• At Lightspeed: "The Elephants of Poznan"
      "In the heart of old Poznan, the capital of Great Poland since ancient times, there is a public square called Rynek Glowny. The houses around it aren’t as lovely as those of Krakow, but they have been charmingly painted and there is a faded graciousness that wins the heart. The plaza came through World War II more or less intact, but the Communist government apparently could not bear the thought of so much wasted space" - Audio Version at same link.

At Author's Site: [Via Free Speculative Fiction Online]
• "Atlantis" by Orson Scott Card.
       "Kemal Akyazi grew up within a few miles of the ruins of Troy; from his boyhood home above Kumkale he could see the waters of the Dardanelles, the narrow strait that connects the waters of the Black Sea with the Aegean. Many a war had been fought on both sides of that strait, one of which had produced the great epic of Homer's ILIAD."

• "Missed"
     "Tim Bushey was no athlete, and if at thirty-one middle age wasn't there yet, it was coming, he could feel its fingers on his spine. So when he did his hour of exercise a day, he didn't push himself, didn't pound his way through the miles, didn't stress his knees. Often he relaxed into a brisk walk so he could look around and see the neighborhoods he was passing through."

• "Prior Restraint"
       "I met Doc Murphy in a writing class taught by a mad Frenchman at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I had just quit my job as a coat-and-tie editor at a conservative family magazine, and I was having a little trouble getting used to being a slob student again. Of a shaggy lot, Doc was the shaggiest and I was prepared to be annoyed by him and ignore his opinions. But his opinions were not to be ignored. At first because of what he did to me. And then, at last, because of what had been done to him. It has shaped me, his past looms over me whenever I sit down to write."

Paul Matthew Jessup (born August 24, 1977)
       Jessup is a very good up and coming writer who has several published stories to his credit (fortunately a few of them are freely available). "His writing is considered brash, experimental and surreal. It has been known to use dream logic, leave out any explanations in the text at all and leave large portions of it open to interpretation and discovery by readers." - Wikipedia.  His home page is here.

• At Clarkesworld:  "The Secret in the House of Smiles
      "Alice sat down on the floor next to him Indian style, draping her arms across his shoulders. She felt his bones beneath his shirt, his skin hot and sweaty against hers. Jack did not respond. He had found a page with the perfect waist."

• At Fantasy Magazine: "A Word Without Ghosts" Fantasy.
     "Wendy was wrapped in an old green blanket. She smelled the musk of it, the smell of mold-eaten clothing hovering on the edge of her awareness. She was trapped in the blanket, suffocating in the blanket."

• At Fantasy Magazine: "The Adventures of Petal, the Paperdoll Pirate" Fantasy.
    "The papier-mâché Jotuns were grumpy and tired and sick. They did not like the heat, did not like being so close to the candle sun. They were afraid of burning up, of their paperthin clothes curling black and catching flame, scattering the ash of their corpses in the static waves of the painted sea."

• At Free Speculative Fiction Online: "The Alchemy of War"
      "Karac perches on the looking stones of Silas Bay, the sea spit frothing in black turmoil against the iron clouds of the horizon. Behind him the city belches fissures of steam and smog, glittering against the grey cliffs, an oppressive structure with clear and angry features, its brass and clay towers aggressive against the backdrop of sky and earth."

At Pseudopod: Audio Horror.
• "Light Like Knives Dragged Across the Skin
     "Saw got off on the whole thing, that much I could tell. He probably had a thick inch of wood under the table. He was in love with power, with making people do what he wanted. And now he wanted one of us to die. I guess that’s just how it goes."

• "Fingerbones Hung Like Mobiles"
  "'These woods are filled with spirits,' she said, 'Not like the spirits of the dead. Older spirits. My grandma told me about them. She said that once these spirits used to help people, they were noble and good. And then people stopped praying to them. Stopped giving them food and friendship. Now the spirits are sick, and they wander these woods looking for companionship.'"

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