Shorts of the Week: Aliens, Futures, & Murderous Hens

The shorts of the week include an alien-possessed saxophone, murderous chickens on the Moon, a montage of stories portraying robots in love, an unexpected journey to the future, and a librarian dedicated to saving her books. Check out all of the reviews below!

miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax

Written by Tina Connolly
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine
March/April 2019

This is a brilliant story for the title alone. The narrative voice was spot on, creating this high school sitcom feel that made the whacky alien fit in perfectly. It features witty dialogue, a hilarious protagonist, and a sci-fi twist that doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

The End of Lunar Hens

Written by M. K. Hutchins
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
March/April 2019

The End of Lunar Hens is a hard-science look at the dilemma of creating enough food in a lunar environment. Hutchins adds a comical feel to the piece, detailing the various struggles with trying to create food when a shipment from Earth isn’t an option. The title indicates the beginning of the project’s downfall, namely putting your success in the claws of a chicken.

Eighteen Songs by Debussy

Written by Michael Swanwick
Asimov’s Science Fiction
March/April 2019

Eighteen Songs by Debussy provides a series of fascinating snippets laid out in a connected montage. This is a world inhabited by robots and mechanical beings, a world so futuristic that it feels like a fantasy. The writing style is wonderfully whimsical, taking on an Alice in Wonderland feel throughout.

Soft We Wake

Written by S.B. Divya
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
January/February 2019

Soft We Wake features an expertly crafted story of the future, showing a woman trying to come to terms with her new reality. Imagine lying down in a pod, preparing to be woken up a few decades from now, only to be delayed by centuries or a millennia. It’s a thought that’s both exciting and terrifying. The prospect of living the future after knowing the past has a sense of scientific fascination.

Petra and the Blue Goo

Written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Galaxy’s Edge
March/April 2019

Petra and the Blue Goo is a look at what happens when alien cultures are pitted against each other to compete in a scavenger hunt with questionable rules. We see a librarian intent on saving her books who doesn’t trust any of the alien species to respect the sanctity of her historical objects.

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Author: Jacob Olson

Writing about science fiction and fantasy at! I write reviews on novels, short stories, television, movies, etc. and throw in a few articles and thoughts as well.