Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Archive for May 28th, 2009

‘Billy the Fetus’ by Al Sarrantonio

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As I mentioned in the introduction Sarrantonio has committed the unforgiveable sin of including one of his own stories in a collection that is supposed to be the best best original SF anthology for a quarter of a century. Now, if you are Ted Chiang this is perhaps – perhaps – acceptable but it hardly needs saying that Sarrantonio is no Ted Chiang.

The story itself? It is actually quite a neat, off the wall idea: Billy the Kid pops out of the womb early to kill his mother’s new lover. The fact remains though, that this is a disposable four page story that is based on a pun. Shoehorning in crap like this from your friends is one thing, shoehorning in your own crap is a whole other kettle of fish. Shitty fish.

Quality: **
Shiftiness: **

Joe R Lansdown provides the introduction and describes the story as “brave”. Even if fiction can be brave, this isn’t.

Written by Martin

28 May 2009 at 10:57

Posted in sf, short stories

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‘Two Shot’ by Michael Marshall Smith

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MMS is one of the few authors in the collection that I am a fan of so I was looking forward to this. Unfortunately it was a big disappointment.

Our protagonist is an unpleasant man who enjoys videotaping his sexual encounters. And he does tape them; this is an analogue world on the cusp of the digital age and seems very old even from only eight years away. MMS draws you into this world of exploitation but the reader expects some sort of pay off for wading from the clinging misogyny. this pay off turns to be a facile twist-in-the-tail that shows that the world his more digital than we thought and exposes the story as a one note shocker.

Quality: **
Shiftiness: *

Written by Martin

28 May 2009 at 10:17