Author Topic: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories  (Read 2961 times)

EXBRIT

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2017, 11:21:18 AM »
Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories




There are a lot of good short stories in this field.  Let's share some of our favorites, just for a little fun, not too serious.

The Nine Billion Names of God  Arthur C. Clarke

The Arm of the Law  Henry Harrison

The Golem  Avram Davidson

The Cartographer Wasps and Anarchist Bees  E. Lily Yu

The Fountains  Ursula K. LeGuin

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge  Mike Resnick

Arena  Frederick Brown

Kirinyaga  Mike Resnick

Enter a Soldier.  Later: Enter Another.  Robert Silverberg

Someone to Watch Over Me  Nancy Kress

The Women Men Don't See  James Tiptree, Jr.

Discussion leader: PatH






how did y`all get your pictures to appear at the beginning of your post ?

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2017, 01:55:38 PM »
Exbrit, it's been so long I've forgotten.  You can ask your question in the help discussion:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=29.400

I'll also alert someone who knows how that your question is here, and you will be answered one or both places.

jane

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2017, 02:49:31 PM »
Hi, ExBrit...
First of all, you need to have your small photo at a third site on the internet, like photobucket, for example.

If you don't have a site like that or your own webspace, you can email your photo to me and I'll put it on my photobucket account.  I've done this for others here.  I'll then email you the link to put in:

PROFILE/Modify Profile/Forum Profile

and at the top is the place to get your photo into your account.  You put the url of your photo from where you have it at that third site into the space there when you click "Specify avatar by url"

If you want to send it to me, I"ll then email you the url to put in that space.

If you choose to send me your photo, please send it to:

janeiowaLatin@gmail.com


Thanks,
jane

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2017, 06:33:07 PM »
Perhaps the author is referring to an actual historical event, and is describing it in disguised Sci-Fi form.
I'm sure you're right, Joan, and since I'm hopeless at decoding allegory, and even worse in my knowledge of Chinese history, I'm lost.  You can see some of it, though.  Certainly the wasps are the oppressive tyranny.  In the bees, the desire for rebellion or freedom is innate ( genetically resurfacing here)  and will always recur.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 06:50:30 PM »
The anarchists don't seem like anarchists to me.  They're definitely rebels or revolutionaries, but they're too systematic for anarchists.  Everyone works, even the males (drones normally just hang around hoping to be the one to mate with the queen, and are killed at the stert of winter) and the queen.  And they try their utmost to lay in enough stores for the coming winter, even though it's already late in the season.

That's probably why they all died. They ate everything, honey, wax, brood cells, but it wasn't enough.  They foresaw this:

"There will be more, after us. It will breed out again."
"We are only the beginning."
"There will be more."
Snow fell silently outside.

Hence the last line, which I found moving on first reading, even though I hadn't figured out much.



PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2017, 06:52:56 PM »
Just for the record, I don't see how anarchism could possibly work as a system.  Maybe for destroying things, but not for running things.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2017, 11:49:55 PM »
I think it is according to our definition of running things - order is one way but more and more we realize we are living in chaos as a system - I like this explanation - scroll down to the attractors and the example of the town that adds a factory and what happens - reminds me of nations today especially the fast increase of population Europe is experiencing with the refugee crisis. And so the idea of traditional order begs reality.

http://www.abarim-publications.com/ChaosTheoryIntroduction.html#.WLuX9fJLO14


PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2017, 12:39:20 PM »
Barb, that's a really interesting article.  Makes me want to read the whole thing.  I feel sorry for that poor town, seesawing back and forth, but I expect we've all seen things like that.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #48 on: March 06, 2017, 12:43:22 PM »
The Fountains

Ursula K. Le Guin

Here's something very different.  Ursula K. Le Guin's gentle, surreal story of a man's inner journey isn't sci-fi, is just berely fantasy.  Le Guin herself thinks those terms too rigid, and prefers "speculative fiction".

It helps to remember, when things start to get strange, that we are in the gardens of Versailles, which are every bit as weird and wonderful as the description.

http://www.baen.com/Chapters/9781618249401/9781618249401___5.htm

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2017, 01:14:15 PM »
Barb, I can barely get my head wrapped around Quantum Theory, now we have Chaos. The Chaos Theory is not something I have looked into. I've bookmarked the site to read at my leisure.

PS: Just read the story. I am sure there is more truth to that than not for some who may have found themselves suddenly free from surveillance. 

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2017, 02:07:08 PM »
There's truth even if you haven't been under surveillance too.  Have any of you ever had some external circumstance remind you of your inner strength and purpose, and set you back on your path?

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2017, 02:52:50 PM »
I've started on Infinite Planets, Ken Liu editor and translator. The intro and essays were quite interesting. So far, I've only read the first story, "The Year of the Rat", by Chen Qiufan. I liked it very much. It was originally published in the Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine way back in 2013.

ginny

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2017, 09:05:15 AM »
Jonathan,

Quote
You're right, Joan. There's nothing like Yiddish humor, and the culture that gave it birth. I remember reading something about it years ago in a book: Number Our Days. A community of elderly, Yiddish speaking 'characters' in Venice, California. A marvelous story. I must find it and reread it. Lots of laughs along with much else. The book was the work of a professional anthropologist.

Where DO you come up with these fabulous things? I went online to read more about it, it sounded vaguely familiar. I read the first two pages on  Amazon and was blown away.  We must read and discuss this book!! I've ordered it. Margaret Drabble has a new one out on the same subject but it's fiction. Everybody is talking about it.   THIS one we must read.

If we schedule it to start the middle of June, would you read it with us since it's your "find?"  I absolutely love the first two pages, it's speaks to ALL of us, there isn't anybody on this website who can't relate to it.

Jonathan

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2017, 10:54:19 PM »
'Every morning I wake up in pain. I wiggle my toes. Good. They still obey. I open my eyes. Good. I can see. Everything hurts but I get dressed. I walk down to the ocean. Good. It's still there. Now my day can start. About tomorrow I never know. After all, I'm eighty-nine. I can't live forever.'

Ginny, I'm pleased you liked it. Isn't that opening paragraph a dandy. These elderly folks are so full of spirit, with wonderful memories, and amazing survival smarts. The book was a great help when I put my mind to learning Yiddish...as a retirement project, years ago. My family found it very amusing. I still get things in my Christmas stocking. This year it was Yiddish for Pirates, by Gary Barwin, published last year and short-listed for a literary prize. We could also discussBorn To Kvetch:Yiddish Language and Culture in All its Moods, last years stocking stuffer, by Michael Wex.

It saddens me to think that toe-wiggler Basha and all her neighbors and friends have out-numbered their days by now, but what stories they left behind.

ginny

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2017, 08:14:53 PM »
Jonathan, I  did not  know that was a hobby of yours!!  I miss hearing Yiddish, I really do. Maybe you can teach us a few new ones. :)

 I have a feeling I can learn a lot from the people in Number Our Days  about aging and how can you lose with so many people on this website  with incredible perspectives, and memories, too. 

But since this is the Sci Fi short story discussion and I saw Ursula K. Le Guin's name, I thought I'd read hers because I don't read a lot in this genre but I have read hers, and I like her immensely.

What did you all make of it? Is this what you meant, Pat, by There's truth even if you haven't been under surveillance too.  Have any of you ever had some external circumstance remind you of your inner strength and purpose, and set you back on your path?

And then Frybabe talking about "free from surveillance."

I had some difficulty with it. If he's really under surveillance how did they let him get away?

It IS true the gardens at Versailles are immense and easy to disappear in but they are enclosed by gates as he said, it wouldn't have been easy  IF they were keeping an  eye on him as he supposes, close to him at all times? But apparently they aren't.

Is it possible it was all in his mind?  Perhaps he feels watched and confined but really isn't? So what set him free here was....

I notice that when "free," when he has decided to "defect," he doesn't know what to do. Should he approach one of the embassies that late at night? He walks on. He goes back to his hotel (or is it?).


I  have to admit she beguiled me with the fountains. The fountains at Versailles are...there are no words. I happened to stumble on them being turned on one year when visiting, they were only on on Sundays  (then), they may be every day now, tho I was there year before last and they were just beginning to turn them on, but it was raining.... There is a new fountain directly behind the palace being built,  and I am afraid of what it's going to look like, but anyway...The workers come and manually turn these gigantic water wheels, and it's interesting that Le Guin chose to talk about them being extinguished, because what's really stunning about them is when they come to life. The other is a let down. It's a return to reality. And she says that: The tremendous voice of uprushing and downfalling water became a rattling, coughing sigh. It was all through, and everyone stood for a moment alone.

Is she saying his new found "freedom," if that's what it was, in his "defection," even in his own mind, is a let down? Why is he crying?  But no, he's striding like a king through the lobby. I kept looking for the rest of the story but there isn't one.

I actually, an old woman, actually RAN from one to the other of the  fountains as they came to life and they  turned them on, it's... it's an experience like no other and it's hard to describe unless you've seen it. It takes forever to turn them on, there are so many and to run to this one or that one and finally just give up, there are too many,   and she's right, they can't run them all the time  so they begin to turn them off.

(Versailles didn't used to have fountains or water features  at all. Louis XIV kept a smaller court in Paris called Marly, the Château de Marly which was a wonderland of water featured because of the nearness  of the Seine. Torn down and turned into some sort of  factory after the French Revolution, the statuary, the famous  Horses of Marly ended up in the Cour Marly in the Louvre, after briefly being put in public in the Place de la Concorde.  The  only reason I know about it is because from the same chateau came statues of Atalanta and Hippomenes which we read about in Latin.  Also now in the Louvre with replicas in the Tuileries.)

So he sees the fountains and it gives him the strength to go on his own? But then his "minders" get back on the grey bus and leave him? All they would have to have done is wait by the gates, he would have  to come out, but he says he doesn't really want...He was not long in the groves, an hour or less; there were gates to be locked and he did not want to be locked in


  Knowing now that he was both a king and a thief and so was at home anywhere, what turned him to his own land was mere fidelity. For what else should move a man, these days? Kingly he strode past the secret-police agent in the hotel lobby, hiding under his coat the stolen, inexhaustible fountains.

So in HIS mind he has decided not to defect, he's turned again to his own land...a "thief" and a "king."


What happened next, in his life, do you think? I'm trying to figure out how he is different. A perfect choice for a discussion, there's something that everybody sees here that I don't.


Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2017, 08:59:20 AM »
I found one of the short stories in Invisible Planets online, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 65, February 2012.  Is it fantasy or is it science fiction? Strange and interesting story called "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight." http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/xia_02_12/

I am into the fifth short story in the book and I must say I am impressed by the stories that Ken Liu selected for this volume.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2017, 10:54:01 AM »
Frybabe, I was impressed by that story too.  It was hanging around in my mind for the rest of the day.  I've placed a hold on Invisible Planets at my library, not only for the stories, but also for the essays on Chinese sci-fi.  There's a different mindset that I want to understand better, since I can see reading more and more of them.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2017, 04:38:59 PM »
Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge

Mike Resnick

This story has a rather jaundiced, unflattering view of mankind.  An archaeological team of different species of aliens is investigating the origin of the now extinct human race.

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2017, 08:57:02 PM »
Arena

Fredric Brown

This is a classic old style sci-fi story.  I'm not sure now whether I read it in Astounding when it came out in 1944 or a few years later.  Either is possible, as I started reading my father's magazines at a tender age.  It's a good example of an often used plot, which also occurs in an episode in the original Star Trek series.  It's interesting to see the unsympathetic depiction of the alien; possibly the alien found Carson just as unsympathetic.  Enjoy.

Arena

DavidSimpson

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #59 on: March 23, 2017, 12:20:07 PM »
A short story I read many years ago has really stuck with me because of its startling ending:  "The Awakening" by Arthur C. Clarke.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #60 on: March 23, 2017, 02:07:09 PM »
David, welcome.  Believe it or not, I first encountered Arthur C. Clarke in Playboy Magazine. It was "A Meeting with Medusa".


PatH
, you know, I have run across Mike Resnick's name many times, but I don't ever remember reading any of his works, not even his collaboration with Jack McDevitt on The Cassandra Project.

Now that I've taken Invisible Planets back to the library, I can dig into these.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #61 on: March 23, 2017, 03:30:46 PM »
Welcome, David, it's good to see you back again.  I see I have The Awakening in an old paperback with a 35 cent cover price.  I remembered it when I started reading.  It is memorable.

I'll look for an online version.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #62 on: March 23, 2017, 03:56:11 PM »
Wow, the Stardust Twins remind me of the twins in the Irredente series I read a short while back. They also finished each other sentences. Didn't miss a beat.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2017, 10:18:26 AM »
The only other thing of Resnick's I've read is Kirinyaga, 8 short stories that were published separately, but together make up a longer story. A leader of the Kikuyu people of Kenya and his followers have moved to a terraformed planet, where they are reconstructing their pre-european way of life.  You get very frustrated and annoyed at the narrator for his refusal to modify any of the more unfortunate aspects of the culture, but you can't help but be impressed by his single-minded dedication.  And the sympathy of the author (a white American) for Kenya shines through the story.

Here are the first three stories.  If you read them, the second is the least sympathetic in the book, and the third is perhaps the best.  The first is quite short, and sets the tone nicely.

Kirinyaga

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2017, 10:26:52 AM »
The only online version of Clarke's The Awakening I found has to be downloaded, which I don't like.  Here it is.  That picture is the cover of my old paperback.

The Awakening

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2017, 12:05:47 PM »
I saw that page, Pat, but didn't see any way to download the story. It looks more like an info only item to me. If fact, Project Gutenberg doesn't list Clarke at all in their catalog. By clicking around, however, I did discover something interesting. Did you know that Gutenberg has a self-publishing feature? Did you know that you can borrow books in pdf form (you need a library card for this)? Still, no Clarke that I can find. I even tried looking up the Zenith SciFi magazine in which "The Awakening" as originally published. I'll have to see if I can get one of the book collections through one of my library accounts.

Hmmmm. I used to have several scifi short story books by Clarke and Bradbury, and Clarke's Foundation , but no more. The only Bradbury I have now is The Martian Chronicles.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2017, 12:04:41 PM »
Frybabe, there seem to be only about four people looking in on SL instead of doing their taxes, so this next one is for you, so you'll have something to read.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2017, 12:15:34 PM »
Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another.

by Robert Silverberg

Imagine a conversation between historical characters.  What's the most unlikely pair you can think of?  Robert Silverberg comes close in this amusing tale.  Bear with a slow start.  It's worth it.

http://www.baen.com/Chapters/9781625795304/9781625795304___2.htm

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2017, 01:10:30 PM »
Thanks Pat, I'll get back to it later. Right now I am working on my Latin for Monday class. I am puzzling over the layout of Pliny the Younger's villa at Laurentum.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2017, 01:50:24 PM »
Wow.  Have fun.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2017, 04:54:45 PM »
That was a good one Pat. It was written way back in 1989, although it reads like something you might see today, what with all the AI stuff going on.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2017, 06:11:43 AM »
I found this really neat website "East of the Web"; super name.This is its science fiction and fantasy short stories section. http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/scifiindex.html Up in the right hand corner, you can also get word games and interactive goodies. It doesn't seem to have a whole lot of stories, but it sure is a nicely done website.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2017, 07:24:32 AM »
That was a good one Pat. It was written way back in 1989, although it reads like something you might see today, what with all the AI stuff going on.
I first read it when it came out in one of Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction.  It sure doesn't  seem that long ago.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #73 on: April 27, 2017, 07:14:14 AM »
This is a bit creepy, appalling even. It's a step beyond the recent news that some can spy on us, both visual and auditory, through our TV sets, webcams and such. https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/someone-to-watch-over-me/

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #74 on: April 27, 2017, 02:05:30 PM »
Creepy and appalling is right.  The combination of technology and obsession can be deadly.  The story sticks with you, too.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #75 on: April 27, 2017, 03:14:22 PM »
The Women Men Don't See

James Tiptree, Jr.


What if an award-winning writer of s-f short stories, admired for his macho approach, turned out to be a woman?  Would it matter?  James Tiptree Jr. kept such a low profile that no one had met him.  In the introduction to my 1975 paperback collection Warm Worlds and Otherwise, Robert Silverberg scoffs at the rumor that Tiptree could be a woman, comparing him to Hemingway.  But someone exposed him.  In the 1978 introduction to Star Songs of an Old Primate, Ursula K. LeGuin says that although they had long been correspondence friends, she had never suspected Tiptree’s gender until he was revealed to be Alice Sheldon.  Two knowledgeable writers fooled.

It seems to me self-evident the stories were written by a woman, but I knew that when I first read them.  Here’s the story Silverberg used to back his argument.  What do you think?

The Women Men Don't See

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #76 on: April 27, 2017, 03:16:30 PM »
And Tiptree remained popular and award-winning.  The stories vary a lot in quality, but the best are little gems.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #77 on: April 27, 2017, 04:21:56 PM »
That one certainly was a gem. I chuckled the whole way through it.l Thanks for the fun read.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2017, 06:28:32 AM »
I found another gem this morning  - Stephen Baxter's website. Here is a list of short stories by him. http://www.stephen-baxter.com/stories.html#Top I started reading "Pilot", which is the last on the list, but don't have time just now. Thought you might like to take a look at some of the stories.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2017, 08:15:04 AM »
Yes, that looks promising.  Thanks, Frybabe.