Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Longest Night

Jeff Patterson; The Solstice Chronicles (Bad Day Studios; 2011; ASIN B007TXXLD4; cover by Jeff Patterson.

Caveat emptor: Jeff and I have known each other, electronically, for many years. I have been a visitor to his website Gravity Lens (part of the Bad Day Studio empire) for far longer than I can remember (10 years?). He and I appear on the SF Signal podcast, where we fill the roles of Statler and Waldorf, sitting up in the balcony and being cranky to the other participants. (It is often hinted that if a third SF Signal Irregular, John H. Stevens, were to appear on the podcast when we both were on it would be the equivalent of crossing the streams and the universe would go poof.)

Jeff has had the habit of issuing a short story each year themed around the holiday "season" (Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Black Friday, take your pick or insert your own!). They are all somewhat to extremely fantastic in nature (fantasy or science fiction elements abound), sometimes sad, usually funny. Particular favorites here are The Snowman's Tale (what happens when you build a snowman on a moon of Jupiter), Eating at Joe's (food in space and the ultimate evil), Snowbane (Crom!), and Trajectories (might be my favorite in the collection). Jeff shows his deep reading of several genres and his obsessive immersion in news, science, "futurism" and more, working elements he picks up into the stories. Short tales...lots of ideas, a great mix for the longest night of the year.


Made up of: Foreword: 'Tis the Season; In the Valley of Years; In the Orchard of the Ancients; In the Citadel of the Solstice; In the City of Winter's Reign; In the Last Days of the Age; World Without Holidays; Thrilling Holiday Tales; One of the Family; Coin of the Realm; The Snowman's Tale; Eating at Joe's Snowbane; The Harbinger of All Things Glorious; Trajectories; On This Longest Night; Roadside Ephiphanies; Candle Gardens; Notes.

Counts as nineteen (19) entries in 2012: The Year in Shorts.

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