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Marilee J. Layman

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06:58 pm: Asimov's March 2008
James Patrick Kelly covers the new Mundane movement in his column, and Sheila wants us to be sure we know she's open to new writers in hers.

The stories I liked this time:

1. Shoggoths in Bloom by Elizabeth Bear -- a black man in a white Northeast tries to learn about the giant jelly-like shoggoths. The Lovecraftian mystery of the jellies is good, but the way she portrays the time and people is excellent.

2. This Is How It Feels by Ian Creasey -- in this future England, people who commit crimes are punished with implants from people related to a similar crime. In this case, a man who sped too often has the implant of a father whose daughter died after being struck by a car. It comes close to paralyzing him and when he thinks he's found a way, it may not really be what he wants.

3. Sepoy Fidelities by Tom Purdom -- he had an earlier story in Asimov's in the same universe -- people inhabit other people's bodies for many reasons -- in this case, to be a decoy for assassination. Interesting tech, but great characterization.

4. Master of the Road to Nowhere by Carol Emshwiller -- we find ourselves in a tribe of outsiders -- not any kind we know -- and follow one man's attempt to leave. Emshwiller always has lyrical language, and this time it rides on the outside language, too. They've used typography to separate three types of speaking/narrating and I wish the fonts/sizes had been more different.

Ruth Berman's Snow Angels is a crisp bit of wishful poetry that I liked.

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[User Picture]
From:soon_lee
Date:March 10th, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
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Shoggoths in Bloom was my favourite story of the issue, closely followed by Brian Stableford's Following the Pharmers.

The Emshwiller was quite good but I found the fonts distracting; they didn't seem consistent to me.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:March 10th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
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Stableford's just didn't click with me. The fonts with the Emshwiller were:

1. serif = his thoughts

2. larger sans serif = narrator

3. smaller sans serif = rules of some kind -- traditions? sayings?

But they should have gone with a third font to make it easier.
[User Picture]
From:soon_lee
Date:March 10th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
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That's too many for me to easily hold while reading. It 'felt' like chunks were incorrectly formatted. I think going with bold or italics would have been better for me.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:March 10th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, and you'd think they'd want people to read it easily.
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