Stuff worth reading

Paul Raven @ 03-12-2010

So, did you read Lori Ann White’s “World In Progress” yet? Well, you should do; not only is it Futurismic‘s last bit of fiction for the foreseeable future, but it’s also very excellent. Sure, I’m a little biased in that opinion… but indulge me, here, why don’t you? When have I steered you wrong before*? Personal redemption in a weird but all-too-believable near-future… try telling me you don’t need some of that in your life right now. Go on.

And once you’re done reading Lori’s story (no, no, carry on – it’s OK, I’ll wait), here’s another recommended read: Paolo Bacigalupi’s multi-award-winning The Windup Girl. I meant to write a review of this excellent novel back in late spring, but never quite got around to it… so in lieu of said review (and in light of many others), just take my word for it that if you’re interested in the sort of future-thinking we do here at Futurismic, you really should read this book. And those canny beggars at Orbit have just released a paperback version into the UK market in time for The Winter Festival Which Shall Remain Unnamed… so British readers, you have no excuse. Buy it for a friend, buy it for yourself… but just buy it, OK?

OK.

[ * Actually, don’t answer that. Just read the story; make a publisher happy, and make an author’s day. ]


NEW FICTION: WORLD IN PROGRESS by Lori Ann White

Paul Raven @ 01-12-2010

Well, here we are: the last piece of Futurismic fiction for a while. But talk about ending on a high note! When Chris sent across Lori Ann White‘s “World In Progress” for me to look at, it felt as if she’d been carefully following the stuff I blog about here day after day, picking out some of my favourite riffs, memes and ideas, and rendering them down into one wonderful – and very human – story. It’s a super piece, and I’m proud to be publishing it; scroll down, read on, and find out why. 🙂

World In Progress

by Lori Ann White

And in The Far Corner, Wearing a
Too-Tight Jock Strap and a Crown of Thorns–

CLOSE UP on a face.  Calm, pale, waves of black hair brushed back from a broad forehead.  Retro Guy.  Grade A, 100% Pure Professional Athlete.  No drugs, no mods, no tweaks, no prods.  Just like the old farts ordered.

He’s staring at the wall above the mirror through eyes blue as an Artic bay.  Pan to the wall, to the framed honest-to-god newsprint, photo of a thick-necked thug in too-tight jacket.  He’s small, like Retro Guy, like they all used to be, but the smug grin and his squinty eyes radiate “big guy” waves.  He’s got one arm around a sad brunette.

The caption: “Bruisin’ Brawler Gene O’Connor: ‘No God-Damned Upgrades!  My Boy Will be a Real Boxer, Just Like His Old Man.'”

The camera pans back to Retro Guy’s face.

“Hey, Old Man,” he whispers.  “This fight’s for you.” Continue reading “NEW FICTION: WORLD IN PROGRESS by Lori Ann White”