bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
It's a short, Short Business this month because, although there are lots of stories I'd like to talk about, over the last two months finding the time and energy to write has been difficult. So, instead of waiting until I've written about the whole heap of stories I read recently, and potentially never getting that giant post finished, I'm going to break down the stories I read into a few smaller posts in the hope of motivating myself to keep going. So, here are my thoughts on four stories I really enjoyed way back in May. As always, spoilers below the cut.

Includes stories from The Dark, Bracken, Apex and Robot Dinosaur Fiction )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
As people were really positive about the last installment of Short Business being a bit bigger I thought I'd keep things up size wise this month. Below the cut I review thirteen stories, and lucky for you I had quite a few thoughts about most of them.

Includes stories from Automata Review, Hanging Garden Stories, Strange Horizons, Podcastle, Future Fire, Apex, Mythic Delirium, Fireside, Nature and Pseudopod )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
So, March is at an end and that means it's time for another installment of Short Business. I compensated for not really having enough brain for long-form narratives by cramming in quite a few short stories, and a whole novella, in March so I hope you like your short fiction posts long.

This month's post includes stories from Apex, Fireside, The Dark, Lightspeed, Shimmer, Nightmare, Uncanny & a novella from Tor )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
In February, I continued to deliberately search out heart-warming stories. In March I'm going to try to branch out a little into some darker stuff, but February was all about trying to reset my mental clock after the long retail-job filled months of December and January. And while I may not have read a lot of stories in February, I still found some sparkly, sparkly gems that made me eager to get writing this post.

Includes stories from Abyss & Apex, Clarkesworld, Fireside Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Uncanny Magazine. )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
November is a hard month when you work in retail so I've been focusing on finding fun stories. Basically, if a short story had baking in the title I was on it last month.

Includes stories from Barnes and Noble blog, Luna Station Quarterly, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny, Lightspeed, and Apex )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
I always go into Hugo voting with the best of intentions. I'm going to read all the things, view all the things, and not just get bogged down in the Novel category. 2017 is going to be different!

Yes. Well.

Appropriately for the Hugo Awards this optimistic view proved to be, as usual, pure fantasy. Still, I did pretty well for a lady with a long commute and limited data; particularly when it came to the Best Short Story category. I read four of the six stories nominated in this category for 2017. And what better way to get back into writing than to share all my thoughts with you?

Read more... )
owlmoose: (lady business - kj)
[personal profile] owlmoose
"Kid Dark Against the Machine", the new short story by Tansy Raynor Roberts, is the latest entry in Book Smugglers Publishing's season of superhero stories. It's available as an ebook as well as on the Book Smugglers blog

I can't even pretend to be objective about this story. It's got superheroes and reunion narratives, it plays with tropes and gender roles, and it's got Tansy Raynor Roberts, of whom I am a huge fangirl, mostly for her work on the Galactic Suburbia podcast -- my first foray into the world of fannish podcasting. But for all that I love Roberts as a commentator and fellow fan, I haven't spent much time reading her fiction. Happily, the one story of hers that I have previously read is "Cookie Cutter Superhero", her contribution to the (most excellent and highly recommended) anthology Kaleidoscope. This story is set in the same universe as Kid Dark and features a few of the same characters. I enjoyed "Cookie Cutter Superhero" a great deal, so when I learned there was a follow-up, I jumped on the chance to read it and spend a little more time in this fascinating world.

The underlying premise is that superheroes are real, their powers and identities chosen essentially by a lottery -- all over the world, there are machines that select one person to gain superpowers every six months, assigning them a codename and skill set. When a new hero is called, the machine selects an existing hero to retire, and they lose their powers. So anyone can be a hero, but only by the whims of fate, and there's no guarantee of how long it will last -- a few heroes only get one six-month term, while others remain active for decades. It makes for an interesting dynamic, both among the heroes (who, at least in Australia, where both stories are set, live and work together as a team) and the unpowered people.

"Cookie Cutter Superhero" focused on a teen girl who is called by the machine to become powered; "Kid Dark Against the Machine" takes us to the other side of the equation, and introduces us to a young man who was a hero in his youth but has since returned to live among the "mortals". In the good old days, he was Kid Dark, sidekick to a brooding crime fighter named The Dark (if you think this sounds familiar, that's clearly intentional). Now he's just a guy called Griff, doing odd jobs at a group home for children, reluctantly studying for his social work degree, and avoiding his past as much as possible. He thought he was out of that life forever, until one of the kids, a boy named Liam, reports that he's dreaming about another machine -- one that makes supervillians instead of heroes. And Griff is forced to do two things: ask an old teammate for help, and admit that he might miss being a superhero after all.

Cut for spoilers )

All in all, I can easily recommend this story to anyone who enjoys superheroes, coming of age, interesting world building, and/or men and women being friends. And now I'm off to explore the rest of Roberts's short fiction, which I'm sure will be a pleasurable journey.
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


When he got to the coast, the sun was setting, and the brightness blinded him. He drove down a rattling road to get to the sand. There were waves still, white and green and blue, and he made a sound he wasn’t expecting to make. He thought about red oceans and orange caverns.


Maria Dahvana Headley's "Solder and Seam" follows the journey of an alien revolutionary, living on a quietly post-apocalyptic Earth as a farmer, as he steers a wooden whale to the sea. It's a real weird story; part of the New Weird subgenre I adore, and yet became a little estranged from in 2015. Is it even called the New Weird anymore? I'm so out of touch.

Read more... )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Short Business logo


We never would have believed, before the dead girls started climbing out of their refrigerators, that people could be literally resurrected by sheer indignation.

Probably it should have been obvious. People have been brought back to life by far more ludicrous means and for far more ridiculous reasons.


If you need a moment of feminist recognition - a moment when you feel the relief of knowing someone else gets what you are low level angry about all the time - I highly recommend setting aside some time to read Sunny Moraine's "Eyes I Dare Not Meet In Dreams". Susan mentioned this story in Our Favourite Media of September 2015, and I'm so glad she did. I had heard absolutely nothing about this story anywhere else but I needed it in my life. Reminder to boost your favourite short fic, people.

Moraine's story is a piece of media criticism wrapped up in a sharp and solid fictional shell. A refrigerator appears in Pennsylvania; a dead girl climbs out of it. Across America, refrigerator after refrigerator appears. Women who have spent some time down the rabbit hole of TV Tropes, or y'know being alive and consuming media, are going to get the reference right off. Yes, Moraine's creepy short story is taking on that most despised of tropes - fridging the ladies.

Read more... )
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing
Red, white and blue Sidetracks logo


You can’t say no. Not that you’d want to. Not if you’re a real soldier.

And I am. I’m a real soldier.

A real fucking hero.

I’m made of light.


Read more... )

Welcome!

Lady Business welcome badge


Profile
About
Pitch Us!
Review Policy
Comment Policy
Writers We Like!
Contact Us
Archive

tumblr icon twitter icon syndication icon

image asking viewer to support Lady Business on Patreon

Who We Are


Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and co-hosts Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon

Content


Book Review Index
Film Review Index
Television Review Index
Game Review Index
Non-Review Index
Sidetracks
We Want It!
Fanwork Recs
all content by tags

Our Projects



hugo award recs



Criticism & Debate


Indeed, we do have a comment policy.

What's with your subtitle?


It's a riff off an extremely obscure meme only Tom Hardy and Myspace fans will appreciate.


hugo award winner
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios