The Best of StarShipSofa 2011

written by David Steffen

Well, StarShipSofa is still StarShipSofa. I said what I thought last year, and nothing much has changed, so I’ll just say “ditto”.Â

Forty-nine episodes this year, with (by my count) 58 stories.ÂÂ On to the list!

1. That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made by Eric James Stone
This story is great, starring a Mormon missionary in space, interacting with aliens who live in the heart of suns. So many great ideas, very well written, great stuff.

2. The Gurnard by Neal Asher
A very strange world with strange, altered evolution. Lots of good SF ideas and philosophy on a very bizarre alien world.

3. A Clown Escapes From Circus Town by Will McIntosh
Will has a knack for coming up with strange and compelling worlds. This one starts off with the event mentioned in the title, a clown escaping from Circus Town, but this is no ordinary circus, no ordinary world, and he soons discovers this as he explores and finds the other super-specialized villages through the land, and finds the nature of their shared existence.

4. Her Acres of Pastoral Playground? by Mike Allen
A very enjoyable cosmic horror story. Everything seems normal at first, but it soon becomes clear that there’s something wrong with this reality.

5. Frankenstein, Frankenstein by Will McIntosh
Hey, look, Will McIntosh again! Apparently I like Mr. McIntosh’s writing. this is very enjoyable, taking place around the turn of the 20th century including the World Fair where Nicola Tesla put on his great electric light display. An ordinary man with a bolt through his head has been passing himself off as Frankenstein’s monster in a roadside freak show. On his way to the World’s Fair, he runs into another freak show also claiming to have Frankenstein’s monster.

6. Raft of the Titanic by James Morrow
The first part of this story is really great. It starts off true to history, with the Titanic clashing with the iceberg and beginning the tragic sinking of the great cruise ship. From that point, it diverges greatly from history, and actually proposes a way in which most of the passengers could have survived. The plan actually seems plausible, though I don’t know the science well enough to confirm it. What starts out as a amazing alt-history beginning gradually stretches out and out and out and gets less and less plausible until it has morphed from a serious and compelling alt-hist to something more like a farce. If it had started as a farce, that would have been one thing, but the shift from one style of story to another made the whole thing much weaker than either part would’ve been. Still, this story is worth listening to even just for the first part.

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

2 thoughts on “The Best of StarShipSofa 2011”

  1. Hi, David! Thanks once again for the mention!

    (And as I narrated your #1 pick — kudos to Eric for creating such a fun story — I’ll give myself a (not-so-)secret extra pat on the back! 😉

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