“The writer’s duty is to keep on writing.”
William Styron

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March 11, 2013
Neighbours
by Rob Butler

The short story, that rests at a little over five hundred words, follows a main character by the name of Tyllaxis. His country has been at war with the fifth planet for centuries, and Tyllaxis’ duties include launching rockets at their enemies on a daily basis. Even though he is unaware of the details that warranted such constant demolition, he does his duties, even as people on his world are dying of a nasty plague. The story may be brief, but it packs a mighty punch in the end! Definitely different and it leaves an impression. And a story that leaves the reader with an impression is a story worth reading. Read Neighbours here.

March 12, 2013
Linger
by Ken Liu (his website)
This story is the sum of a man, a woman, a woman he misses, and an alien race coming to freeze humanity. First and foremost, Ken Liu’s resume speaks for itself. He’s been published in Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld (plus others), AND he’s won a Nebula award and a Hugo award (and others). Not to mention that he has EIGHT other stories published with Daily Science Fiction. All of that right there is enough to make me want to study his work and see what I can extract and import into my own fiction. Because those markets are markets I have on my list to be published in.

Back to the story… It is written so eloquently, every sentence seemed to have purpose. I will admit the timeframe (Flashback? Not flashback? Memory?) was a little difficult to follow. That said and done, it doesn’t diffuse the fact that Mr. Liu’s flow, pacing, setting, and voice were all amazing. I think the poetic nature of this piece is what makes the story work so well. You can read Linger here.

March 13, 2013
Subject AT-171
by Melissa Mead (her website)
This story is in a series of 14 Twisted Fairy Tales Melissa Mead wrote and that DSF is publishing (at a rate of every other Wednesday). This story takes on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and it’s a very nice rendition… with a tWiSt. Haha! I thought it was nice. You can read Subject AT-171 here.

March 14, 2013
Jimmy Smith Has a Dinosaur
by Gregg Chamberlain (his Facebook)
From the title and reading the first two lines in the story you’re bound to give a chuckle. Billy is trying to get his mom to give him certain things that a boy named Jimmy Smith has. It’s a nice read. It isn’t an epic story (not even very long) and there really is no wars or bombs or aliens or any epic battle between good and evil. It’s a simple, light, fun story. And we need those sometimes. Kudos, Mr. Chamberlain! Read Jimmy Smith Has a Dinosaur here.

March 15, 2013
Pythian Games
by Tom Doyle (his website)
This story follows Aristonike, a widowed older woman who takes on the role of Pythia — oracle of Delphi. It took me a little bit of time to actually get into the story, but once Aristonike began speaking with the god whose messages she was relaying, I was engaged. The dialogue between Aristonike and the god was witty, charming, and yet had a caring undertone. From what I can tell, Mr. Doyle did excellent research regarding Delphi, the temple of Apollo, Crete, etc. Beyond that, I think Mr. Doyle did a terrific job with Aristonike’s character throughout the story. You can read Pythian Games here.

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