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The only freely-available Hugo novella I have been able to find is Arlan Andrews' Flow. I just finished reading it, and am frankly underwhelmed.

The plot, such as it is, consists of Rist, a native of the northern Tharn's Lands, who is riding an iceberg down a river to sell same in The Warm Lands (capitalization in original). We spend pages and pages watching Rift wander about aimlessly while the author drops hints (occasional) that the faux-medieval setting is post-apocalyptic. We eventually get to some conflict, in that Rist decides to steal some artificial spiderweb wire (left over from the Goode Olde Dayes) and then goes on the run. There's a bit of Rist On The Run, then the story ends on a literal cliff-hanger - Rist descending a cliff into he knows not what.

I'm frankly surprised that this story was published at all. I also don't see what the Puppies see in this story. There's a shocking lack of action, and it takes a damn long amount of time before anything happens.

John C. Wright tends to leave me cold, so unless Tom Kratman's got something under the hood, it's looking like a short ballot for novellas.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 8th, 2015 10:43 pm (UTC)
Still, that's an idea that keeps cropping up (so to speak).  In Niven and Pournelle's Oath of Fealty a gigantic iceberg is moored offshore at Santa Monica, providing fresh water and ad hoc air conditioning.  Then of course there's Asimov's “The Martian Way,” where it's a moonlet from Saturn's rings.

The best one, though, is the iceberg aircraft carrier.  Whatever else, it won't sink!  They were actually testing this idea in WII - it turns out “pykrete,” ice mixed with sawdust, actually has surprising structural strength - before the silliness of it sank in.
May. 9th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
The Wrights are available for free download from Castila's website, you just need a fake email address.
May. 9th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
I couldn't finish any of them, then again I ran out steam halfway through Flow.
May. 14th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't think we have to worry about you liking anything I write, Chris.
May. 15th, 2015 12:05 am (UTC)
Oh, I do so like anonymous drive-by posts from Blacksburg Virginia.

Having not actually read the work(s) in question, I can't say what I will like. I do know Elizabeth Bear did the "sentient tank dying" a few years back (Kratman) and I'm not sure what the Wrights are about. I shall have to see.

I do know posting anonymous snark on my blog is not exactly what Dale Carnegie would recommend.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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