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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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REVIEW | Show and Tell and Other Stories by Greg van Eekhout (Tropism)

I've finally gotten on the short story kick I've been meaning to get to for ages. In the last couple of weeks I've read Survival by Storytelling, The New Dead anthology edited by Christopher Golden (more about later), and I'm half way through the so far wonderful Clockwork Jungle Book, which is the 11th issue of Shimmer with the theme of Steampunk animal tales.  Which brings me to van Eekhout's sci-fi collection Show and Tell and Other Stories.

Greg van Eekhout has grown to be one of my favorite short story writers over the past year with his always entertaining and surprisingly original tales.  His stories have appeared in various Year's Best anthologies, Asimovs, The Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy in addition to be nominated for a Nebula Award.  After recently reading his debut novel Norse Code and his story in Paper Cities I was eager to get at more of his work.  In my trolling I came across chapbook publisher Tropism Press, which just happened to publish Show and Tell and Other Stories with 6 stories.  All of which were new to me.  The stories range from the odd to the downright strange with a lot of laughs along the way.

In the Late December is the most offbeat little Christmas story you'll likely find.  Santa in the far future is still doing his job in order to keep reality going as the Universe is dwindling by delivering gifts to little boys and girls who happen to be some unusual sentient beings.  This is a story of triumph and resignation from an endearing Santa that somehow makes despair a bit funny.  This story was worth it for the cover price alone, especially given the time of year.  This story is available on Strange Horizons for those interested in a holiday treat.

Native Aliens skews the perspective to show how life runs in strange circles sometimes.  Split into two points of view with one of oppressed human in 1945 Indonesia and the other of an alien going to earth. It is definitely the most moving piece in the bunch as it is a highly personal story based on the oppression van Eehout's parents faced.

Anywhere There's A Game is a series of flash fiction strung together from a longtime pro basketball player.  Instead of talking about the best players he has known he wants to talk about the most remarkable. Everyone from a Zombie, clairvoyant, and flying shooting guard make cameos.  Even if you aren't a sports fan you'll get a kick out of this one.

Authorwex was by far my favorite story of the collection as it entertains the idea of being able to meet your favorite author, albeit in robot form. The ending wasn't quite what I was expecting as it felt more like the beginning to a bigger tale yet it had me laughing on each page as the main character unwittingly falls into something out of his control.  The world building was also very interesting with how the society is built.

Show and Tell was just about as strange as you can get.  Picture a future where the norm is to have six arms or two mouths and basic humans are considered strange.  The main character's inner dialogue was hilarious as he frets about what he is showing to the class, which will decide if he passes on to the next grade.

Far As You Can Go would probably have been classified as one of the earliest Green Punk stories if the term had existed than.  It was a bleak future of scavenging where a young man is befriended by a robot of sorts.  The action was a bit jarring towards the end and left a few too many unanswered questions for me.  It makes me curious whether Greg is done with this tale.

Definitely grab a copy of this collection if you are a Sci-Fi short story fan as it does not disappoint.  I give Show and Tell and Other Stories 9 out of 10 Hats.  I hope van Eekhout gets to do a larger collection someday.  His second novel, which is also his first YA novel Kid vs. Squid comes out in May 2010.  If you want to get a taste of Eekhout he has the short story Last Son of Tomorrow up on and a bunch of podcasts freely available.

You Might Also Like:
REVIEW | The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
REVIEW | The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko
REVIEW | Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll add to my wish list now. I like a dose of good short stories now and then, too.