Monday, 18 January 2016

Short fiction (almost still) Sunday: The Devil You Don't (Keith Laumer) and The Clapping Hands of God (Michael F. Flynn)

quote [ "Curl was raised in Samoa; her folks were missionaries, you know. She never quite grasped the concept that the female bosom is a secret." ]

A twofer this week. In "The Devil You Don't", Hell is invaded by alien demons and only SCIENCE! can help. "The Clapping Hands of God" is, in my opinion, a sad and beautiful story about first contact.

[SFW] [literature] [+2 Interesting]
[by GordonGuano@5:08amGMT]


ubie said @ 2:17pm GMT on 18th Jan
The second short story is interesting with a valuable view on exploration, although a bit hard to read to due to syntax issues. Was this translated from another language? I realize some of the characters clearly don't speak English as a primary language, but I get the impression the author does not as well.

The first story however, wow, no. At first I thought it was perhaps written in the 50's, but after finishing the whole thing I'm not sure. Either way, it's a socially backwards mess and more damning is that the story just isn't engaging. It comes off more than a bit silly and not in the way the author clearly intended.
GordonGuano said @ 2:53pm GMT on 18th Jan
My understanding is that everyone in the story is using English (as does the author) with varying degrees of fluency. Different speech patterns are used to differentiate characters, in something of a Hollywood fashion.

And yeah, Keith Laumer was a man of his time. I like to think of him as Heinlen lite, although imo this reads more like a pastiche of one of Asimov's Azazel stories (try saying that five time fast). One of Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions collections has Ellison introducing a story by a different author by talking about what a sexist pig Laumer was. I'll have to see if I can dig that up...

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