Remember my short story I wrote for Free Write called Disguise? No? Well either way, here is a piece of fiction written by Terry Bisson that illustrates an idea I had in that story, which was that sentient biological life was so rare and weird, that nobody was willing to believe it existed. This is a rather clever story, done completely in dialog. I highly recommend you read it.
THEY’RE MADE OUT OF MEAT
By Terry Bisson.
Originally appeared in Omni 1990. Creative Commons.
“They’re made out of meat.”
“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”
“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”
“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”
Double feature today. I was going through my Book Watch posts and realized I hadn’t posted my review of FEED by Mira Grant. Considering how much I raved about this book to my offline friends, I feel I’ve done a disservice not at least mention it here. The reviews below are non-spoiler reviews covering both FEED and the newest book in the Newsflesh series, DEADLINE. I highly recommend both.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Easily one of the most entertaining books I have ever read.
The tag line is fun and confusing at the exact same time: A book about blogging, politics, and zombies. Of course it is much more than that. Mira Grant gives us a glimpse into a future where blogging has become a legitimate journalistic endeavor and threat of a biological plague which reduces people to mindless zombies keeps everybody well cloistered behind bio-hazard sealed doors and finger pricking locks. Yet in this future, America still lives, and it still needs a President, so campaigning must continue.
I waited to read this book because the premise sounded so far-fetched until a friend loaned me a copy. It is a stark reminder that any premise, no matter how odd or ridiculous sounding, can be made into a good story.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Date Started: June 1s, 2011
Date Ended: June 4th, 2011
DEADLINE is the sequel to FEED, the book about Politics, Blogging, and Zombies. DEADLINE is not about Politics, Blogging, and Zombies. It is about Conspiracies, Zombies, and Blogging. The second novel in a trilogy, DEADLINE once again introduces us to a post-apocalyptic future where humanity survives, in fear, of a zombie plague. Where FEED introduced us to the world and it’s politics, giving us a glimpse into conspiracies that run a zombie infested America, DEADLINE jumps right into the conspiracy and hauls the reading along for the ride.
Where DEADLINE suffers, its suffers in being both the sequel to FEED and the second novel in a trilogy. The novelty of the world has worn off and we’re left with the characters and plot to drive the story. The plot is somewhat ham-stringed by the book’s status and the fact that the slow reveals of parts of the conspiracy were not as compelling as the further questions they raised. However, the characters, their insight, dialog, and interaction, manage to keep DEADLINE sailing smoothly in the compelling read sea.
Interested in the books but not quiet sure if it is for you? Mira Grant, otherwise known as Seanan McGuire, keeps a live journal. During the month leading up to the release of DEADLINE, she posted a series of flash/short fiction set in the Newsflesh world. It is intended to be read after FEED but there are no actual spoilers. You can follow this tag to find them all but you have to scroll down to the first post, titled T-minus 29 Days to DEADLINE.
Man, do we have some great nominations this year. The Hugo Award is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention. Let me go over some of the ones I am excited about.
This actually came as light surprise to me. I am not used to having already read one of the year’s Hugo Award nominees for Best Novel. I’ve written about how the book is awesome. FEED is by Mira Grant, the alter ego of Seanan McGuire and it has a sequel coming out, DEADLINE, on May 31st, a book I am anticipating as much as Ghost Stories by Jim Butcher. So congratulations Ms. McGuire!
Best Short Story
I have not read any of the short stories nominated, however I will be looking forward to Escape Pod in the coming weeks, as they typically make a point of releasing all five Hugo Nominated short stories on as podcasts.
Best Related Work
Speaking of podcasts, Writing Excuses: Season 4, has been nominated for Best Related Work. Created and staring , Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, the podcast focuses on various topics related to writing and becoming an author while keeping any particular topic under fifteen minuets because, as they say: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Obviously you’re smart enough to get nominated for a Hugo. Congrats guys!
So one of the topics I am very much interested in is the evolution of media and information technology. One of the budding areas that we are watching grow into its toddler, if not teenage, years, is the ebook. To keep the metaphor going, it really is only a matter of time before our teenager starts experimenting in order to figure out what they really are. But first lets talk about where stories, in the form of books, have been going.
The popular e-readers of today are trying desperately to copy books. This is because books have an established niche of readership that keeps them afloat financially that has been steadily declining since the invention of video. Declining but not being erased. Actually since the internet became popular, we’ve seen an increase in the amount that people read daily, thanks to email and websites.
The internet gave birth to what I’ll call the first evolution of story, that being the jump to self published internet fiction, which you can find all over the internet in audio and written form if you try. Serialized web novels are popular these days, along with terabytes of fan fiction and much more. But this evolution doesn’t hold up economically for most authors, at least not until recently. There has been another slower evolution, the eBook.
[feed]More on the site, including a peek at a possible evolution beyond eBooks.[/feed] (continue reading…)
Friend of mine linked me this short story. A fair warning it does contain some mature subject matter.
My friend introduced me to the story with a question “Wanna read a sad short story?”. After reading it I decided that I don’t think it is a very sad story. In fact I think, from what I know of Hinduism, it is a very telling example of the concept of karma and reincarnation. It is also great examples of how a lack of education can be as much slavery as chains and how depression can warp your sense of reality.
Nice short read. I suggest it.
I am an avid podcast listener. Thanks to an hand-me-down iPod I’ve been able to take control of my radio during my drives to and from work with things I want to listen to. I split my podcasts between audio books, writing podcasts, geerky podcasts, and gaming podcasts, as a habit.
Recently, thanks to Murr Lafferty, I stumbled upon a podcast called Escape Pod. It is a short-story podcast, particularly dedicated to science fiction stories. So far I have listened to about three or four stories and each one has been very interesting and a delight. This latest one, so much so, that I’ve decided that I need to share it:
This is a short story about a small group of volunteer vampire hunters. A vampire nest has been found and cordoned off and now volunteers get to go in and take them out but one of the volunteers knows far more about the vampires that he is telling.
I think you’ll like the twist.
Expect more posts like this. I may start posting more podcasts with interesting or useful content.
A short story that won’t take you very long to read and is very touching. It is about a place out of time and three lovers.