Another week have passed (and a little more than that), and it’s time for another round of reading recommendations. This week brings stories from Daily Science Fiction (because I’m a regular reader of their stories) and Escape Pod (because I’m going through a bit of an audiobook/podcast period at the moment).
Homegrown Tomatoes by Lara Elena Donnelley (Escape pod): A story that balances the big world-destroying conflict and the small but personal conflict of the protagonist perfectly. And the author ties the two conflicts together in a way that most aspiring authors could learn from. To make it even better, the protagonist constantly tries to lie to himself about his dreams and ambitions, which I think most people can relate to. His realization does come a little suddenly, but that’s far from enough to ruin this great story.
In Coppelious’s Toyshop by Connie Willis (Escape pod): It speaks to Connie Willis’ diversity as a writer that she made the list even though the few stories I’ve read by her previously didn’t really fit my taste at all. They certainly weren’t funny stories, but In Coppelious’s Toyshop was. Willis throws a truly unlikeable protagonist at us and manages to pull it off perfectly by making him relatable and stuffing enough humor and keen observations in there to make it worthwhile. I was so entertained I didn’t even notice that there hadn’t been a speculative element in the story until it finally appeared near the end.
The Lifehack by Paul G Di Filippo (DSF): The story wasn’t exactly well written, and at times the information was forced down the reader’s throat. However, the original premise and the humor of the piece made it worth while. And the way Di Filippo managed to deliver information through jokes reminded me of Gaiman and Pratchett’s writing, which is never a bad thing.
As always, if you have any short stories or magazines you’d like to recommend, then let me know in the comments.