Books: Good Reads ...

Well it's not Friday, but here's some quick recommends for ya anyway.
And now if you'll please excuse me, I swore I'd go for a jog today. Oh exercise! How I love to hate thee ...

"Snowfall," Jessie Thompson - Fantasy and Science Fiction Aug./Sept. 2009 - You'll be hard pressed to find a better short story anywhere. First published in F&SF in 1988, Harlan Ellison selected this story for a reprint from among nearly 1,800 submissions spanning 60 years. It's a winner. And it's definitely one of, if not the best, piece of short fiction I've ever read.
Ellison writes: "It is a small, perfect, as burning-bright wee piece, that (for me) towers over all the tsunamis and skyscrapers and Everests F&SF has raised ... When it was published in 1988 I wrote Ms. Thompson an unsolicited note that read, in part, ' ... having read ... a vast amount of the words available on this planet, it is not often one suffers the joy of having read a 'first published' story that can bring tears of pleasure. Ed Ferman spoke conservatively when he called it a 'superior story.' It is more than that. It is a jewel."

"Hunchster," by Matthew Hughes - Fantasy and Science Fiction Aug./Sept. 2009 - You've been through several jobs and can't hold one down. It's not really your fault -- just when you settle in there's a new technology that pops up and renders your skill set obsolete. You're outdated and, once again, unemployed. Sound familiar anyone?
Hughes explores the topic in "Hunchster" asking the question to what lengths would you go to protect your livelihood? And your family? It's a dark tale framed in a lighthearted fantasy and it's one I enjoyed. Check it out.

"The Bones of Giants," Yoon Ha Lee - Fantasy and Science Fiction Aug./Sept. 2009 - Giants. Zombies. Necromancy. Wizards. Yeah, it's a fantasy. And it's a pretty darn good one. Lee's novelette explores several themes, but focuses heavily on ideals of death and immortality. It's a quick, clean and elegant story that ends with a fun little twist. Worth checking out.

What are your thoughts? Have any recommendations for the good reads column? E-mail me, or sound off in the comments.

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