My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a very short story- only about 4 pages- by the well-known and well-loved author of A Wrinkle In Time and The Left Hand of Darkness. It is intriguing and disturbing, and raises questions that maybe we don’t want to think about.
I won’t say too much about the story because it is short and it would be too easy to give the entire thing away. There is a city, Omelas. In this city, everyone is successful and wants for nothing. Everyone is happy and content. Well, perhaps not everyone. Because, as always, there is a price for unending happiness and prosperity. Everyone knows what that price is, and most accept it. But for some, the price is too high and if they cannot change Omelas, then they change themselves. These are the ones who walk away from Omelas.
But the questions don’t end there. This is, in many ways, a morality tale. The language is distant and almost clinical, and sets up a stark contrast to the utopia being described. As the story goes along, the impersonal tone becomes the neutral voice, neither condoning nor condemning the price being exacted for the continuing utopia. It merely states the facts, and leaves the decision to those who stay and those who walk away. And that includes the reader: do you stay and accept or walk away in protest? Is walking away enough, knowing that suffering continues?
LeGuin packs a lot into these short pages. This is a quick read, but one that will stay with you.
Sale! Through March 3, both novels and the short story collection are half off at Smashwords for Read An Ebook Week. Check them out!
Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.
Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died. With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.
Learn more here.
After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here
A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.
A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.
In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.