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2010 Stories 238 - 239


Two more from STORIES: All-New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.


238. Human Intelligence by Kurt Andersen There are so many ways this story could have fallen into cliche: an alien spy lives among us, and has for thousands of years; said spy is the basis for a large number of our myths and legends; there's a base hidden in the Arctic Circle that is slowly being revealed thanks to global warming; will the young idealistic female "explorer" discover said base and then track down said spy? ... and yet with all that potential for cliche, Andersen manages to craft a story that has an interesting voice and a solid flow that does not at all feel like we've read it a million times before.  That plot synopsis doesn't really spoil any of the turns the story takes, by the way. There were a few moments that made me chuckle, including the Indiana Jones reference and the more subtle allusions to things like The Day The Earth Stood Still.

239. Stories by Michael Moorcock It's been a long time since I've read anything by Moorcock -- not for lack of interest so much as from indecision as to exactly what to read first.  This story is not connected, from what I can tell, to any of the Eternal Champion stuff.  It reads virtually as an autobiography. There's nothing outright "weird" or "outre" in the story, which is propelled by the narrator's reminiscences of his near life-long friendship with another writer.  The story is an odd mix of nostalgia, ennui and regret but ultimately, I think, is a tribute to friendship and creativity.  I had to check online biographies of Moorcock to try and piece out just how much of this was based on his real experiences, and it seems like quite a bit is.

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