Thursday, June 13, 2024

Short Story Wednesday +: the links to the reviews, 12 June 2024

Patricia Abbott's regular weekly links

Frank Babics: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce, The San Francisco Examiner, 13 July 1890

Tony Baer: various forms of The Bridge in the Jungle by B. Traven

Brad Bigelow: five short novels/long novellas about the collapse of England

John Boston: Amazing Stories, July 1969, edited by Ted White

Curtis Evans: adaptations of Cornell Woolrich's fiction

Paul Fraser: An Interview with David Redd (1946-2024); "The Man Who Came Early" by Poul Anderson, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1956, edited by "Anthony Boucher"

Michael A. Gonzales: 1980s NYC bookstore culture and its environs

Rich Horton: First Person Peculiar and other writings by T. L. Sherred; "Inside Man" by K. J. Parker; "The Tusks of Extinction" by Ray Nayler

Jerry House: "You Were Perfectly Fine" by Dorothy Parker, The New Yorker, 23 February 1929, edited by Harold Ross

Kate Jackson: "The Way Up to Heaven" by Roald Dahl, The New Yorker, 27 February 1954, edited by Harold Ross; Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, October 1951, edited by Frederic Dannay

Tracy K: stories from Crime Hits Home, edited by S. J. Rozan

George Kelley: The Gist Hunter and Other Stories by Matthew Hughes

James Queally: Thuglit, the hardboiled little magazine edited and published by Todd Robinson and Allison Glasgow

James Reasoner: Casinos, Motels, Gators: Stories by Ben Boulden; Texas Rangers, June 1945, edited by ?G. B. Farnum

Steve Lewis: Spaceman! (aka Galactic Odyssey) by Keith Laumer, as serialized in Worlds of If, May, June and July 1967, edited by Frederik Pohl

Todd Mason: "The Widow's Tale" by Richard Bausch, Ploughshares, Winter 2023-24, edited by Ladette Randolph

Jack Seabrook: "Lonely Place" by C. B. Gilford (as by Douglas Farr), Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, February 1960, edited by William Manners (index) 

Victoria Silverwolf: Fantastic, June 1969, edited by Ted White

Kevin Tipple: Moon Shot: Murder And Mayhem On The Edge Of Space, edited by J. Alan Hartman

"TomCat": three "crossover" stories by Edward D. Hoch

Morgan Wallace: Round Up Magazine and the (Scottish) Fiction Magazine Group

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Short Story Wednesday entries for this week, with supplements:

(see Jerry House's review)

Patricia Abbott: THE NIGHT IN QUESTION by Tobias Wolff

George Kelley: HOOK, LINE AND SINKER: MYSTERIES TO REEL YOU IN edited by T. Jefferson Parker


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Guest Book Review by Joseph Green: ANNIE BOT by "Sierra Greer"


Annie Bot by "Sierra Greer"


This short novel is a far departure from the ray guns, rocket ships and Colonies-on-Mars that dominated early science fiction. Annie is a sex doll, but one provided with high intelligence by the incorporation of advanced AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) programs. Her body, which had a human embryo as part of its starter base, is externally so realistic she can “pass” in a crowd, despite being a battery-operated machine. The thrust of the novel, told from Annie’s Point of View, is her struggle to become fully humanor at least to free herself from the built-in compulsion to always please her owner, primarily as his sex partner.  A major second theme is said owner falling in love with his sex doll, after a failed marriage and an unwillingness to try again with an actual (and capable of resisting him) woman. The interactions of these two characters form the bulk of the novel.


Annie provides a great deal to think about, and in places could lead you into deep philosophical queriessuch as what is truly human, and how do we judge. Because Annie was created as a sex doll, the novel has many scenes where she fulfills her built-in compulsions. But she is also “more than”, and as these other characteristics surface she begins to fight for an independent existence. This brings the question of what actually is a “human” to the fore.


"Sierra Greer" is a pseudonym for Caragh O’Brien, who is an established writer of primarily YA SF. It seems clear that with this breakout novel she has expanded her horizons with an adult and very thoughtful examination of a quite possible, and little-explored, near-future world.


Joseph Green (Wikipedia) (ISFDB)

(Copyright © 2024 by Joseph Green) (revised from a discussion-list post)