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petronius

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Gender: Male
Hometown: California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 26,169

About Me

Inveniet quod quisque velit; non omnibus unum est, quod placet; hic spinas colligit, ille rosas.

Journal Archives

Cordwainer Smith (Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger): The Game of Rat and Dragon

Pinlighting is a hell of a way to earn a living. Underhill was furious as he closed the door behind himself. It didn't make much sense to wear a uniform and look like a soldier if people didn't appreciate what you did.

He sat down in his chair, laid his head back in the headrest and pulled the helmet down over his forehead.

As he waited for the pin-set to warm up, he remembered the girl in the outer corridor. She had looked at it, then looked at him scornfully.

"Meow." That was all she had said. Yet it had cut him like a knife.

--- Snip ---

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29614/29614-h/29614-h.htm

One of my all-time favorites (and not just because I'm a cat person). Linebarger seems like a really interesting person - godson of Sun Yat-sen and an early expert in psychological warfare, his far-future Instrumentality of Mankind is a complex and fascinating reality...

(Another favorite from him is Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons.)

Leonard Richardson: Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs

"I want to buy a gun," said the Thymomenoraptor. He moved his foreclaw along the glass case of pistols, counting them off: one, two, three, four. "That one." He tapped the case; the glass squeaked.

"Why would a dinosaur need a gun?" asked the shop owner.

"Self-defense."

The owner's gaze dropped to the three-inch claw that had chipped his display case.

"These are killing claws," said the dinosaur, whose name was Tark. "For sheep, or cows. I merely want to disable an attacker with a precision shot to the leg or other uh, limbal region."

"Uh-huh," the owner said. "Or maybe you figure humans shoot each other all the time, but if someone turns up ripped in half the cops are gonna start lookin' for dinosaurs."

Tark carefully pounded the counter. "There used to be a time," he said, "when gun dealers would actually sell people guns! A time . . . called America. I miss that time."

--- Snip ---

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2009/20090713/dinosaurs-f.shtml

If that excerpt doesn't fully explain how awesome this story is, then you won't like this story...

Damien Walters Grintalis: Always, They Whisper

She was not a monster, nor did Perseus cut off her head. The whole Athena and shield bit? Bullshit. Perseus was a self-absorbed fool who barely had the strength to lift a sword over his shoulder, let alone swing it hard enough to sever sinew and bone.

As far as the rest of her story, the snakes and stone might be true, but not in the way you think. Itís always easy to paint a villain; harder to scrape below the gilt to find the real.

--- Snip ---

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/always-they-whisper/

As an editor describes it in an interview with the author, it's a collision between harassment, sexual assault, and the plight of Medusa...

Anaea Lay: Hiding on the Red Sands of Mars

--- Snip ---

When I was five, I woke screaming from a nightmare. I'd been working with the revolutionaries, and we were being chased by splat-drones. Each of my companions, who looked an awful lot like the corn husk dolls I'd played with that afternoon, were blown to bits around me as I watched. Then, with a grinding rumble that I could still feel in my chest even after I woke up, it zoomed at me.

"They don't rumble," Mom said as she stroked my hair.

"What do they sound like?"

She ignored my question. --- Snip ---

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/20130513/mars-f.shtml

The child of a revolution(ary) learning about the past, and growing up into the future. And the shape of the 'revolution' is frighteningly ambiguously believably familiar...

Ken Liu: The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species

There is no definitive census of all the intelligent species in the universe. Not only are there perennial arguments about what qualifies as intelligence, but each moment and everywhere, civilizations rise and fall, much as the stars are born and die.

Time devours all.

Yet every species has its unique way of passing on its wisdom through the ages, its way of making thoughts visible, tangible, frozen for a moment like a bulwark against the irresistible tide of time.

Everyone makes books.

--- Snip ---

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-bookmaking-habits-of-select-species/

No action, really, but a very evocative portrait of a universe, and how species (we) engage with recorded information. What is a book?
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