Short fiction

Sep 27, 21:17 by John Frost
Discussion of short stories this month...

(Click here for the article.)
Sep 28, 13:33 by Dawn Burnell
Woman's Say: On "They Are Girls, Green Girls"

I loved it. I thought it was accurate and a plausible setting of female POV written by a man. Of course, I didn't pay attention to the author until the end. I acutally liked the predictable end because it was the only logical end that made sense.

As for the rest of your article, I think you did a good job expanding on all of the short fiction. I've only read F&SF and ROF from your selection and I checked out the corresponding reports on Talebones. I'll have to compare to Locus. I enjoy seeing how my responses match up (or don't) with other people.
Sep 29, 11:30 by Kim Gonzalez
I agree with zhaneel, I thought the POV was very well-drawn. It never even occured to me that this was written by a man, even though I knew it was. I also liked the ending for this story. As predictable as it was, I liked the way it was handled -- but I'm into teen angst and not-entirely-happy endings.
Oct 10, 09:59 by Niall Harrison
Nice reviews all around; unfortunately, being in the UK, I've only just received my Asimov's double issue, and goodness knows when the F&SF double will get here, so I have few specific comments. One note, though--there should be more stories set in the same world, but 'Survivor' is very definitely the last story in Accelerando, not the penultimate one.
Oct 11, 08:04 by Bluejack
Really? Well, that makes it an even more unsatisfying story then. It cries out for some resolution: the most interesting part of it is the promise of what comes next.
Oct 21, 06:48 by Peter Hollo
I think the whole point of "Survivor" is that, in a sense, nothing comes next. Stross's approach to chronicling the Singularity is to focus more and more upon those who get left behind (or choose to) - the "orthohumans" who don't go all-out posthuman or transcend in some kind of rapture of the nerds. As we see in "Survivor", these distant descendents of ours are in some ways hugely different from us (they can spawn ghost-copies of themselves, die quasi-deaths but get resurrected from downloads, etc), and they're in some ways infinitely richer than us (they live in a post-scarcity society and can hop across light-years through an inherited system of wormholes), yet in contemporary terms they're poverty-stricken hicks living in a backwater, with no particularly exciting future.
Why? Because the gods are real, in effect: All the new stuff to be discovered is being discovered by the big guys, like Aineko. The orthohumans don't have much to do - they're kind of living an almost pastoral life bringing up their kids in this quasi-utopia, well aware of how backward (even stagnant) it nevertheless is.

As for your suggestion that all the characters sound the same, there may be something to that. Even then, though, it could be a way of showing *difference* through similarity. If transcended-AI Aineko sounds similar to the orthohumans, it's because he/she/it is manifesting in humanly-accessible form to them. If Manfred and Pamela sound similar, well this Pamela is mostly drawn from Manny's memories of her, and the story is showing that maybe their differences were more artificial than they thought.

I have to admit, I've read Accelerando as a whole novel, courtesy of Charlie, so perhaps this changes my perspective. I was surprised at how well it works as a novel, and I certainly feel that "Survivor" is a fitting conclusion - downbeat, but with satisfying closure in terms of the themes and characters. FWIW, Nick Gevers in the recent Locus mag agrees with me...

Also FWIW, Charlie's currently working on Glasshouse, a novel set in the Accelerando universe, some... longish time later, with humans/orthohumans/um/er still living within the vast network of Routers left behind by whatever transcended/extinct aliens created it. And eventually there may follow another novel set in between Accelerando and Glasshouse. More disclosure I guess: I've read a very early draft of Glasshouse... It doesn't really even aim to be a continuation of the themes of Accelerando though. Looking forward to seeing a later version :)

Anyway, always enjoyable to read your reviews, Bluejack!
Oct 28, 07:41 by John O'Neill
Hey Bluejack.

I just signed up for a trial sub to IROSF, based on Rich Horton's recomendations on your column here. And I must say he's right -- it's excellent.

We just went to press with Black Gate #7 (late, yes, but better than never, as the saying goes). How can I get you a complimentary copy?

- John

John O'Neill
Black Gate
Oct 28, 09:17 by John Frost

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