In anticipaion of today’s mail drop, I re-read “Another Time, Another Place”, the short story contributed by Cory Doctorow to the Chronicles of Harris Burdick anthology. Without spoiling it too much, it’s a great story about hope and possibility. As much as I’m a fanboy at MAXINT volume for all of Doctorow’s work, I tend to favor his short stories just a shade over his novels, mostly because they elicit such a great emotional response that’s packaged and primed and then released with timing worthy of a circus acrobat. It’s right up there with his contribution to Welcome to Bordertown and both are high on my young adult/sci-fi enraptured gift-receiving list this year. Having just finished Orson Scott Card’s Pathfinder and The Lost Gate, I’m reminded that Card’s books are long novels with a short story like ending (why can’t he bring his books to a rousing conclusion?) while Doctorow’s stories take you along the single thread of a novel in short form.
Why the fawning? I’m the happy recipient of the Doctorow/Stross collaboration Rapture of the Nerds and tomorrow I’m going to hear them read/speak at Makerbot in Brooklyn (7pm, 85 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, near the 3/4/5 and D/N/R Atlantic Avenue stops). Been waiting for this one for a while — two of my favorite authors in one binding, dealing with topics that skirt some themes in Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom (Doctorow’s first book). It’s up there in the Simon-esque pantheon of seeing a naked girl while eating ice cream.