FF: More Short Than Long

The Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include either short fiction or magazine articles. But this week I have because so much of what I’ve been reading is shorter works!

Short Stuff

Short Stuff

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  Prequel to “Miles” stories, how his parents met told from Cordelia’s POV.  Can someone who is more familiar with the series than I am fill me in on why, after the story is clearly done, the long “body collecting” bit is tacked on the end.  Is this Fan Service of some sort?

The Sword Woman by Robert E. Howard.  Wanted to read some early takes on “strong female characters” after writing my two WW on the subject.  Also read (from a different volume) “Shadow of the Vulture,” which was Howard’s one “Red Sonya” story.  Both Dark Agnes and Red Sonya are presented as “historical” not “fantasy” characters.  Both are basically men in drag.  Dark Agnes’ mantra is that she wants to be viewed as a man, not a woman.  ‘Nuff said.

Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy by Wendelin Van Draanen.  Do an adult’s dreams need to vanish when she has kids?  Sammy’s mom doesn’t think so.  And the mummy isn’t who you think it is!

In Progress:

Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling.  Audiobook.  Short stories, presented as factual reports, focusing on entanglements, romantic and otherwise in British India.  Two at least provide further details of characters who appear in Kipling’s novel, Kim.

The Sky Chariots Saga, “Blessing Sky” (installment two of a serial).  I really don’t like reading on a Kindle, I find.

Also:

Non-fiction short articles.  Lots.  Quite interesting.

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6 Responses to “FF: More Short Than Long”

  1. Louis Robinson Says:

    Not trying to correct you, but the Kipling title is really more fun with the pun included: in full, it’s Plain Tales from the Hills

    • Jane Lindskold Says:

      Oddly enough, the audio book I have didn’t include that part on the read-out! Thanks! I shall double check, but if I amend, then your comment won’t make sense.

      What to do?!

  2. Laura L Says:

    I have thought of the Shards of Honor epilogue as a meditation on the cost of war. In space, there isn’t really the post-battlefield walk. But this story provides that, or the space version, of a parent recovering a child lost in the ‘battlefield’. And it ties back to the main Shards storyline by including the recovery of one of the Barayaran secondary characters – ‘a young man with a lot of promise’ lost in battle.

    It was also the first time I had seen an author really address the aftermath of a space battle, other than having ships avoid ‘debris’.

    I have read Shards of Honor several times, so that was where I ended up. Always subject to reinterpretation in a future re-read.

    Regards,
    Laura

    • chadmerkley Says:

      Totally agree. It’s really a separate short story in the same setting. But in some ways, I think it’s one of Bujold’s most powerful pieces of writing. The sudden change of tone and setting from the preceding novel does seem a little bit jarring at first, but it’s a story worth going back to.

      • Jane Lindskold Says:

        Thanks to both of you… I agree it’s interesting material but, from the POV of novel structure, I thought it “gutted” the novel’s conclusion. We’d had the loss of the one officer gone over and over and over…

        To me, the cost of war had been made.

        So, basically, to me, good novella. As a part of a novel, though, I felt it hurt the novel.

        Opinion!

  3. Paul Dellinger Says:

    I really like a quote from Bujold that I saw long ago in the late, lamented Starlog magazine where she was interviewed, which generally said: Once you become a writer, then everything, even the mistakes, becomes research.

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