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 […]

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 […]

Flash Fiction: For Better or Worse

Marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment. But a lifetime has many challenges. That’s why the older marriage vows included the phrase “for better or worse.” This poignant story tells how a couple handles their challenges. For Better or Worse Lynette M. Burrows They came in together. Gray-haired, bent, similar in size and shape, they held hands. She laughed at his lame jokes. Her laughter lit his face with a sun-bright smile. They shuffled up to the emergency room’s front desk.  The ER nurse put him in a wheelchair and rolled him back to the triage room. She listened to their concerns, then checked his blood pressure and listened to his heart and lungs. She told them there were no rooms right now but there would be soon.  They returned to the waiting room and sat in hard plastic chairs near the interior doors marked staff only. And they waited. His jokes slowed and her laughter grew strained. The nurses at the desk seemed to pay them no mind as they dealt with the people coming into the ER in ones and twos, and whole families. And after a while, the nurse called his name. She took the old man in […]