To take a break from writing Part II of my analysis of Robert Rodriguez’s The Faculty, I thought I’d toss out another recommendation for those looking for a quick read. Today’s reading rec is ” ‘— All You Zombies —’ “ by Robert A. Heinlein.
Published in 1959, ” ‘— All You Zombies —’ ” is the classic science-fiction time travel paradox. Initially, the story seems mundane enough at first: it is set primarily in a bar as one character tells another his life story. But, as time travel stories tend to do, things are not quite what they seem and what begins as a simple, straightforward tale ends up bending through time and space (and the reader’s brain as they try to follow along).
The last two reading recs have been shorter stuff, so I thought I’d change it up a bit with Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw.
Now, to preface this: I loved dragons as a kid. Devoured everything to do with dragons. (This was how I ran across Dragon’s Egg, coincidentally.) But I got a bit burnt out on dragons as an adult: when you’ve read 100 dragon stories, you’ve read them all. So it goes.
Then a couple years ago I ran across mention of Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw, and I was baffled by its description: a Victorian novel in the style of Anthony Trollope, set in a world populated by dragons. Yes, this is (as many others have described it) Pride and Prejudice with dragons.1 Even though I had left behind my years of incessant consumption of all things dragon related, I could not resist this unique story.
I’m back with another reading recommendation for all you voracious readers out there. This time it is another short story entitled “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison.
Published in 1967, “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” is a classic of science-fiction horror. The story focuses on five humans who are held captive by a supercomputer, AM. The rest of the human race is gone, destroyed by AM decades ago. AM puts the five humans through various tortures as the story progresses, just as AM has tortured them continually for the last 109 years. “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” is grotesquely dark and fascinating, portraying a living hell from which there is only one escape: death. But when one is made immortal by a supercomputer, is the escape guaranteed by death even possible?
It’s been a busy week, what with final edits on my next work before release, plus I’m writing for a competition that ends this month. When it’s busy, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and read, so I thought I’d give a reading recommendation for those moments when you want to read, but don’t have much time to dedicate.