Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl

I eventually decided Bacigalupi’s Pump Six and Other Stories was one of the strongest and most-memorable single-author science-fiction story collections I’ve read in the past several years. If The Windup Girl didn’t quite live up to my expectations, it’s at least partly because those expectations were high. But I also think that The Windup GirlContinue reading “Paolo Bacigalupi: The Windup Girl”

Charles Stross: Wireless

I finally figured out that I like Charles Stross better when he’s being funny than when he’s being preachy. His short fiction collection Wireless offers both. My favorite entries were “Rogue Farm” and “Trunk and Disorderly.” The former is a sly future backwoods noir that almost lives up to its killer opening: It was aContinue reading “Charles Stross: Wireless”

Zack Hemple: Watching Baseball Smarter

Watching Baseball Smarter touches on so many aspects of the sport that it invites facile criticism for the many things it doesn’t cover. But I think this is missing the point. Watching Baseball Smarter would arguably be improved by graphics showing the typical path of various pitches — but there are plenty of other sourcesContinue reading “Zack Hemple: Watching Baseball Smarter”

Emma Bull: War for the Oaks

Publishing cycles are strange things. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy burbled merrily along as a cult favorite for years, gradually picked up steam, and eventually became an unprecedented publishing phenomenon, and — as writers and publishers alike realized there was more money to be raked from the Tolkien-reading hordes — the template for aContinue reading “Emma Bull: War for the Oaks”