Short fiction

Blogs about short fiction: short stories and novelettes.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (Italian edition)

The novella “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells was published for the first time in 2017. It won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards as the best novella of the year. It’s the first work of “The Murderbot Diaries” series.

Murderbot is the self-given name of the SecUnit that managed to hack its own control program which normally keeps it under the command of human beings. It would rather watch soap operas than protect the clients it’s assigned but what is supposed to be a scientific expedition requires its intervention.

When Murderbot must rescue a member of the scientific exploration team, it discovers that parts of the available maps have been erased. Faults and problems pile up in an increasingly suspicious manner and Murderbot independently decides to protect its clients.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

The novella “A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the first book in the Monk & Robot series. It won the Hugo Award for best novella of the year.

Sibling Dex is a tea monk who sought a spiritual life. They still feel a certain dissatisfaction but can’t understand what they need. They decide to change their travel routine by venturing on paths different from the ones they usually take, where humans let nature grow wild again.

During their new journey, Sibling Dex comes across a robot who tells them its name is Splendid Speckled Mosscap. Despite its completely friendly attitude, Dex remains dumbfounded because generations have passed since robots decided to live on their own. Splendid Speckled Mosscap has a very simple and yet damned complex question: “What do people need?”

Runtime by S.B. Divya

The novella “Runtime” by S.B. Divya was published for the first time in 2016.

Marmeg Guinto’s dream is to win the Minerva Sierra Challenge, an endurance competition for cyborgs. Her implants are makeshift, sometimes literally scavenged in the trash, but she sees them as the only hope for a better life for herself and for her siblings. Facing competitors with new and more advanced systems is only one of the difficulties in a race full of unexpected events.

The Story of Martha

The anthology “The Story of Martha” by Dan Abnett, David Roden, Steve Lockley, Paul Lewis, Robert Shearman, and Simon Jowett was published for the first time in 2008.

Martha Jones was forced to escape the Master’s captivity leaving her family and the Doctor behind. She now has only one purpose: to walk the Earth to spread a message of hope, convincing people all over the world that it’s possible to defeat the Master.

For a year, Martha Jones travels the world telling stories of the Doctor’s adventures. She becomes a legend but that’s a problem because she has to avoid the Master’s agents who are trying to capture one of the most wanted people in the world.

The short story “The Silk Route” by Giti Chandra was published for the first time in 2020 by Future Fiction within the anthology “Avatar. Contemporary Indian Science Fiction”.

For centuries, the Silk Road has been a trading network from China to Europe. Silk plays an important role in a future where there’s a collaboration between India and China but it’s not the same silk of ancient times. Its fine threads intertwine between past and future.