SF Signal runs a mind meld periodically where they gather a bunch of us sf writers and ask us a question (which I usually find on Twitter. This week, they included me a two-part post about favorite short stories. I thought I’d talk about two of them a little bit more here.
One is the most commonly listed story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” by Ursula LeGuin. I think part of the allure of this story is that it did such a good job of illustrating one of SF’s strengths – poking fun at humans. The story has it’s own wikipedia entry. There are countless web articles about it. If you haven’t read it, go find a copy!
The second story is “The Days of Soloman Gursky,” by Ian McDonald. I am the only writer who listed this story in the mind meld. I read it in the sixteenth edition of the “Year’s Best” collections that Gardener Dozois edits, and it absolutely blew me away. I felt like the story had expanded my mind. Which, by the way, is the main reason I read science fiction. To be come bigger, to be infused with awe. Based on the choices of other writers, this same spark of new, vast ideas intrigued them.
A side note is that both of these stories are, I believe, conversations with other literary works.
Although I have a lot of other favorites, I picked these two because our most enduring stories are either about us (1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Stranger in a Strange Land) or full of the possibilities inherent in this wonderful universe we are such a small part of (Rendezvous with Rama, Ringworld, A Fire on the Deep).
Drop by and look at the mind meld and let them know your favorite stories in comments, or leave me a note about what else makes sf stories great.