Story Time Reviews “Valedictorian” by N. K. Jemisin

Story Time Reviews remembers the joy of listening to bedtime stories. Today Story Time Reviews “Valedictorian” by N. K. Jemisin read by LeVar Burton. For those who prefer the print version, you can find it in the December 2014 (Issue 55) of Lightspeed Magazine. Where to Find the Story “Valedictorian” © 2012 by N. K. Jemisin. After: Nineteen Stories of Apocolapse and Dystopia, edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. It also appears in N. K. Jemisin’s collection How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? The February 3, 2020 episode of the reading lasts 56:21 minutes. It is available on the LeVar Burton podcast, Apple podcasts, and Stitcher. The Story A brief description: A smart, stubborn high school student sets her own rules in a near-future dystopia.  This short story (5939 words) takes place in a complex future many years after a devastating war. Spare and powerful words describe a layered society and characters with conflicting desires. Zinhle, a senior in high school, lives inside a “Firewall” with people like her. She excels in school and despairs that none of her classmates or teachers challenge her. Everyone strives to be mediocre because when graduation comes, there will be change. Her desire […]

Story Time Reviews “Lost Girls” by Jane Yolen

Story Time Reviews is a blog series that offers reviews of stories both read and read aloud. Today Story Time Reviews “The Lost Girls” by Jane Yolen is a 1999 winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novelette and a retelling of Peter Pan—with a twist. It originally appeared in the short story collection titled, Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast. I read it in the short story collection, Sister Emily’s Lightship and Other Stories. The Story In this story, Peter Pan has spent years since the original Wendy recruiting more and young girls. These girls are then pressed into a life of service to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in Neverland. They serve the boys food and do all the cleaning while the boys get to fight the pirates. And life in Neverland would have continued this way forever, but Peter recruited Darla. And Darla teaches the Wendy’s they can demand equality. The Author Do I really need to tell you who Jane Yolen is? If you’re not into children’s books or Science Fiction and Fantasy, probably no. For the rest of you, here’s a brief summary of who Jane Yolen is. Born on February 11, 1939 in New […]

Story Time Reviews “Kin”

Story Time Reviews remembers that special time when an adult reads to a child and recognizes that as a grown-up, we need to reward ourselves with a story time now and then. I’m reviving this blog series that offers reviews of stories read aloud. Today Story Time Reviews “Kin” by Bruce McAllister read on “LeVar Burton Reads.” This podcast originally posted on June 13, 2017. It runs 36:46 minutes in length. The Story “Kin” by Bruce McAllister appeared in the February 2006 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. It received a nomination for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The story appears in multiple anthologies and is an Amazon “short read.” The story is about a meeting between a young boy who has a need and an alien assassin. Their meeting yields unexpected results. The principal character, a twelve-year-old boy, is convincing. The author’s words paint the alien assassin in scary otherworldly details. The story starts in a third person omniscient viewpoint that quickly switches to a closer third-person viewpoint and shatters conventions by relaying the story from three different viewpoints. One might think three viewpoints would make the story flabby and difficult to follow. Yet, the story, the […]