Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Mirror Shards; Halloween Decorating Pics

I love anthologies, because I love the short story, and my shelves are full of science fiction, horror, and fantasy collections. Why add another? Because despite having approximately three thousand sci-fi anthologies, I didn't have one based around the concept of augmented reality. Was it worth it, or was it simply a novel (heh) buy? Definitely worth it!

Mirror Shards, edited by Thomas K. Carpenter, contains thirteen stories of possible futures, a time when we may have implants to our optical nerves, allowing us to see the world around us in a flood of information, brought up by merely thinking about it. A world in which no one sees us, but our avatars. Where cities are digitally realized, and the universe expands beyond the physical.

These authors all managed unique takes on the concept, so even if I wasn't especially enjoying a piece, I loved the imagination behind it. Anthologies are like that -- some call them "uneven," but it's really more a matter of taste. Subjectively speaking, I liked some and some were just okay -- for me. A highlight was Grayson Morris's "More Real Than Flesh," in which the anti-heroine Petch attempts to escape from her life, without realizing that she's tried it before. Intriguing on its own, there's a quasi-Blade Runner twist near the end that had me -- and Petch -- thinking about the nature of humanity and the price of freedom. Also a stand-out was the first story, "El Mirador," a galaxy-noir fic with voice and thrills.

Overall, I highly enjoyed Mirror Shards and recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi and wants something very different, very intriguing.


P.S. I first heard of this anthology via Grayson's blog. Her posts are often thought-provoking, generally humorous, and she's pretty cool. Today's post about being a writer -- street cred! -- is a great example. Put your two cents in.


And now, our house, decorated for Halloween (I may get a bit crazier with the decorations, but right now, I love it!):

That last one's wonky. Sorry! Some of the pumpkins are heirloom pumpkins; the white one is called White Ghost. Cool.

I have a witch outfit planned, but probably not enough time to pull off what I want to do with it. That's be okay, though.

Our Halloween is always this: sitting on the front porch with blankets, big orange and black bowls at our side and filled with candy, drinking hot apple cider with a touch :) of Capt. Morgan's. I do share with neighbors. Feel free to stop by and claim to be my neighbor!

Next year, for the first time, we plan on not being home for our favorite holiday, but spending it in Disney World. The decorations aren't as lavish as what they do for Christmas, but still cool, and besides, they have Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom, and it. Is. So. Freakin'. Awesome!

And speaking of apple cider, Not So Humble Pie's recipe of the day is for Spiced Apple Cider Caramels. If you're a dessert freak or just a foodie, you must follow Mrs. Humble. For one thing, the pics are food porn. And second, the recipes are fantastic. I've made several of her ice cream recipes and not plan on making the caramels.

Did you decorate your house for Halloween? Please share pics!


  1. HALLOWEEN-LOVE! Would so stop by if I could!

    Teasing me with sci-fi is baaad... I have a pile of books that deserve reading, but this one is very tempting indeed...

    *off to look for bats and pumpkins*

  2. Oooh, thanks for the good words and the blog traffic! I'm so glad you liked the anthology. Now I'm off to tell Alex you liked his story. :-)

  3. Ooooh! Looks awesome!

    It's Arnika, by the way. Open ID didn't work for me...

    Germany doesn't really celebrate Halloween but Tania wanted a 'cool' birthday for once and she did a HP/Halloween Gryffindor common room party.

    I carved two big pumpkins for deco and then all the girls designed their own miniature pumpkin and I got to carve those, too. The stress! ;)

  4. Arnika--I don't carve pumpkins any longer. I buy fake, pre-carved, pre-lit pumpkins. Ha! And sounds like a very cool birthday party.