A short story a day review

Month: December, 2012

“The Blue Danube Waltz” by Nigel Bird

by kattomic

nigel bird 365“The Blue Danube Waltz” by Nigel Bird


Story 361/366

This story appears in Nigel’s latest collection, The Shadows of Death. It’s a Christmas story of another kind, one that will have you counting your blessings.

Merry Christmas and see you tomorrow!

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, Nathan Englander, THE NEW YORKER

by Patti Abbott

#364-Two Jewish sisters and their husbands, one secular, the other Hassidic, spoke pot, and discuss life. The title refers to a Jewish topic of discussion about which goy would hide them if the holocaust happened again. Great stuff.

“Dancing Dan’s Christmas” by Damon Runyon

by kattomic

damon runyon 365“Dancing Dan’s Christmas” by Damon Runyon


Story 359h/366

Damon Runyon does Christmas Eve in a little speakeasy owned by Good-time Charley, drinking a few Tom and Jerrys. Classic Runyon. You can read the story here.

See you tomorrow!

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss

by kattomic

dr. seuss“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel)


Story 359g/366

I have friends who simply go nonlinear over the JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek, claiming it’s not the original and it’s just not right. I make fun of him but I admit that when it comes to the Grinch, I feel the same way. There’s the book and there’s the original animated version with Boris Karloff reading it, and … that’s it. I like Ron Howard’s movies (Apollo 13 is in my top ten) but his version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is not my vision. Every family should have a copy of the book, and if you haven’t seen the 1966 version of the animated holiday classic recently, check it out on YouTube. (I confess, I sing along.)

See you tomorrow!

Shirlley Temple Three, Thomas Pierce, THE NEW YORKER

by Patti Abbott

In the future, scientists can bring back extinct species and a wooly mammoth is ST-3. Despite good care from the game show (where this is present to the public) host’s Mom’s good care ST-languishes. Funny, sad and a bit believable.

“The City of Cries” by Catherine Asaro

by kattomic

catherine asaro“The City of Cries” by Catherine Asaro


Story 359f/366

A former professional dancer with a PhD in chemical physics (from Harvard), Asaro is a Nebula Award-winning writer. This tale is about matriarchs and the military and a missing prince. Call it feminist space pulp/sf noir. This story appears in Down These Dark Spaceways, edited by Mike Resnick.

See you tomorrow!

The People of Penrowland House, Simon Brett, EQMM

by Patti Abbott

#362-A lone woman comes to the House for a brief escape. Ghost tale.

“A Wife of Acorn, Leaf and Rain” by Dave Smeds

by kattomic

dave smeds 365“A Wife of Acorn, Leaf and Rain” by Dave Smeds


Story 359e/366

I did not know Smeds’ work before I read this story in Sirens and Other Demon Lovers (edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling). It is a tale of longing, of a bereaved man who seeks solace in a substitute and discovers it’s not enough.

See you tomorrow!

“Bird Count” by Jane Yolen

by kattomic

jane yolen“Bird Count” by Jane Yolen


Story 359d/366

I knew Yolen only for her children’s books and this is very much an adult story. The narrator lives with a beautiful man who lives only for birds. And then a hawk as big as a man appears and he has no interest in the bird watcher at all. This story appears in Sirens and Other Demon Lovers, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

See you tomorrow!

“Mirrors” by Garry Kilworth

by kattomic

“Mirrors” by Garry Kilworth


Story 359c/366

A man awakes in a city not his own and follows neon lights and narrow alleyways to a house of erotic fantasy. And then…it gets strange. This story appears in the anthology Sirens and Other Demon Lovers, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I bought my copy of this book from Datlow herself last year when she was having a Christmas clean-out sale. I’ve never been disappointed by one of her anthologies.

See you tomorrow!