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 […]

Do You Discuss Dystopias In The Making

Sometimes the well goes dry. When this happens to a creative, she must refill the well. This creative turns to informational podcasts (among other things). Recently I discovered a podcast of absolute golden inspiration for lovers of dystopian stories. The Good Code discusses dystopias in the making. Chine Labbe is the host of the Good Code in collaboration with DLI at Cornell Tech. It’s a weekly podcast on ways in which our increasingly digital societies could go terribly wrong. (Yes! Story fodder.) You may subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, GooglePlay, and other sites. On Net-States This week’s episode is Alexis Wichowski on Net States Chine and her guest, Alexis, discussed Wichowski’s recently released book The Information Trade: How Big Tech Conquers Countries, Challenges Our Rights, and Transforms Our World. The premise of the book is that big tech companies like Google and Facebook act like national governments. She implies that this is dystopias in the making. Our world is no longer divided by nation-states (like the United States, Canada, Italy, etc.) and non-states (ISIS, al Qaeda). And she proposes a new term for the era, net-state. What is a Net State?  A net-state is a digital, big tech company that […]

Story Time Reviews: A Japanese Fairy Tale

Story Time Reviews a Japanese Fairy Tale told on the Myths and Legends podcast, episode 161 titled Japanese Folk Lore: Karma.  The orginal story, “The Old Woman Who Lost her Dumpling,” may come from Hearn, Lafcadio, translator. Japanese Fairy Tales: The Boy Who Drew Cats. Tokyo: T. Hasegawa, 1898. This podcast includes two stories. “The Old Woman who lost her dumpling” is the first story told on the podcast. Duration 16 minutes and 14 seconds.  The Story Making Dumplings Making Dumplings. The old women liked to make dumplings and laugh. One day she drops a dumpling to the floor. It rolls through a small hole in her home’s floor. She reaches into the hole and the dirt beneath her cracks open. She drops. She survives a long drop and though the land is weird, she sees her dumpling rolling away and she runs after it. She stops and catches her breath leaning against a Jizo-san statue. (Weiser gives us an aside at this point explaining the relevance and meaning of a Jizo-san statue in Japanese culture.) The statue warns her not to follow her dumpling because a wicked Oni lives down there, who eats people. But the old woman doesn’t heed […]