Sometimes you might find yourself sitting at a computer, wanting to read something. But you don't want something long. You're thinking, what about a short story, and possibly something in the fantasy or sci-fi realms? You're in luck! Here are four collections, for your reading pleasure: Apex Magazine short fiction
| Baen Ebooks Free Library
, which includes some short story collections | Eclipse Online
, from Nightshade Books | Strange Horizons fiction archive
, including podcasts of many stories. If this is overwhelming, io9 has a pick of 5 short stories from January
, with synopses. [Previously: Plane of the Ecliptic
, on the Eclipse series | This isn't your grandfather's science fiction
, where "Exhalation" is from the Eclipse series]
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 5, 2013 -
This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects
) launched a new digital series: H+
. The premise: in the near future, 33% of humanity has retired their smartphones, tablets and computers in favor of an implanted computer system, H+
, which connects them directly to the internet 24/7. The story begins as a computer virus attacks the implants, killing billions. In intersecting storylines across four continents (told in part through flashbacks,) the series then unravels what happened, who caused it and why. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 19, 2012 -
Friendship is Optimal
is not a "My Little Pony" fanfic, but a SF story that starts with a procedurally-generated MLP MMO, and crescendos to what could very well be the Best Possible Outcome if self-optimizing algorithms are given /almost/ the right goals.
Some readers are horrified by the implications; some want to move into "Equestria Online" anyway. Whichever camp you fall in, you'll never forget the phrase "satisfy human values through friendship and ponies".
posted by DataPacRat
on Nov 28, 2012 -
Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
posted by Artw
on Nov 23, 2012 -
COLBERT: I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn’t that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What’s evil is the purposeful distribution of fear. As Paul said when he was faced with the gom jabbar, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”
PLAYBOY: Did you just make a Dune reference?
COLBERT: I did! [laughs] If you’re injecting fear into other people, then you’re trying to kill their minds. You’re trying to get them to stop thinking.
A thoughtful interview with Stephen Colbert in Playboy
(NSFW ads)(Non-Playboy copy
posted by rewil
on Nov 14, 2012 -
"David Cronenberg's seldom seen 1972 made-for-TV movie, 'Secret Weapons'. It is six years into a future American civil war. A man has created a drug that enhances fighting skills. But will he give it to the theocratic government, or the rebels?" [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Nov 11, 2012 -
Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie", the first work of fiction to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, is now available to read
in full at io9.
posted by Errant
on Nov 9, 2012 -
OMNI Magazine delighted, informed, and even confused geeks of many flavours, and is now available to be downloaded
from the Internet Archive. [previously]
posted by batmonkey
on Nov 1, 2012 -
"Pretty much everyone interested in dinosaurs, in the history of life, or in such matters as the evolution of intelligence and/or brain size, will be familiar with the various speculations on ‘humanoid dinosaurs’ that have made their way into the literature." - Tetrapod Zoology on Dinosauroids [more inside]
posted by brundlefly
on Oct 30, 2012 -
She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants,"
an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 27, 2012 -
Hey Metafilter, you like John Carpenter's The Thing
? Now, see the toys
from the merchandising tie-in! (SLYT, NSFW, possible spoilers)
posted by zippy
on Sep 29, 2012 -
is chock full of stuff to tickle the imagination of anyone who has enjoyed science fiction accounts of space travel. You can move your cursor over the "Show topic list" button in the top right corner of the page and start exploring.
posted by Egg Shen
on Sep 29, 2012 -
His official title is continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm — which means Chee keeps meticulous track of not just the six live-action [Star Wars] movies but also cartoons, TV specials, scores of videogames and reference books, and hundreds of novels and comics.
posted by Egg Shen
on Sep 27, 2012 -
, a spacefaring Cthulhu Mythos story run through the filter of Lewis Carroll by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (Interview
). A sequel in the same universe, Mongoose
, Appeared in the Ellen Datlow
edited anthology Lovecraft Unbound
. An audio of Mongoose is available at the Drabblecast (part 1
, part 2
), as well as a further sequel, The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward
, part 2
posted by Artw
on Sep 21, 2012 -
In 1994, theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a scheme for virtual faster than light travel using a real-world analog to the familiar science fiction trope known as "Warp Drive."
The basic premise exploited certain space-time warping effects predicted by General Relativity to fold space-time
, theoretically allowing a specially designed space craft to reach distant destinations effectively at FTL speeds without actually having to accelerate to light speed or beyond at all. There was, however, at least one major problem with the proposal: The math suggested it would require as much energy as the mass of the planet Jupiter to power the thing. But according to newer calculations based on a modified version of Alcubierre's original proposal
, warp speed travel may now theoretically be within reach
(warning: eyeball-gouging Space.com link), requiring drastically less energy than originally thought. Of course, not everyone's convinced
there's anything to see here. And even so, prohibitive energy input requirements may not be
the only serious challenge
facing the development of real-world warp drive technology, so don't go packing your bags for that long overdue vacation to Risa just yet.
posted by saulgoodman
on Sep 17, 2012 -