Malak, by Peter Watts

This is the best story I’ve ever read from the viewpoint of a machine. There is growing consensus that automated drone warfare is the wave of the future, particularly in the conflict-torn Middle East. Malak’s viewpoint character, a next-generation drone named Azrael is “smart but not awake.” It is named after the angel of “a … Continue reading Malak, by Peter Watts

Grandmother-Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, by Rose Lemberg

This story is the rarest of gems – that which shows us something truly different from our own experience. Grandmother-Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds weaves a tale that is extraordinary even for its own setting – a place which is itself extraordinary to us. In the heat of a baking desert, a culture that never was … Continue reading Grandmother-Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, by Rose Lemberg

Catch That Zeppelin! by Fritz Leiber

To start off this promising New Year of 2016, I submit for your consideration what we will call a shining vision of a better future. Fritz Leiber’s “Catch that Zeppelin!” is not in fact a shining vision of the future – but rather a shining vision of a better past. Written as the endearingly self-depricating … Continue reading Catch That Zeppelin! by Fritz Leiber

The Book of Martha, by Octavia Butler

This wonderful story crossed my dashboard, very appropriately, just in time for Christmas. It has always been clear that Octavia Butler must have a pretty interesting view of God. She has never shied away from addressing questions of worship and spiritual community – such as in her Parable series, which follows the founder of a … Continue reading The Book of Martha, by Octavia Butler

Hardfought, by Greg Bear

Hello lovelies, Since I’m not ready to talk too much about my own work yet – I’m still waiting to hear back from two publishers and holding off on announcements until then – I wanted to talk a bit about drastically underrated work by other people that are already published. “Hardfought” ┬áby Greg Bear was … Continue reading Hardfought, by Greg Bear

A Rose for Ecclesiastes, by Roger Zelazny

What does the bleakest book of the Bible have in common with the planet Mars? Quite a lot, it turns out, as Roger Zelazny had the insight to see in this 1963 short story, which has been collected in Volume I of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Our understanding of life on Mars has … Continue reading A Rose for Ecclesiastes, by Roger Zelazny

The Queen of Air and Darkness, by Poul Anderson

Poul Anderson is an interesting bird among science fiction writers. Known for his insight into human nature – particularly those things about us which, for all of our science and technology, have not changed – Anderson is sometimes also characterized as being anti-progress, as his work is sometimes critical of the secure, restrained lives led … Continue reading The Queen of Air and Darkness, by Poul Anderson