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Suzanne Palmer

Suzanne Palmer is an award-winning and acclaimed writer of science fiction. In 2018, she won a Hugo Award for Best Novelette for “The Secret Life of Bots”. Her short fiction has won readers’ awards for Asimov’s, Analog, and Interzone magazines, and has been included in the Locus Recommended Reading List. Her work has also been features in numerous anthologies, and she has twice been a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and once for the Eugie M. Foster Memorial Award. Palmer has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where as a student she was president and head librarian of the UMass Science Fiction Society. She currently lives in western Massachusetts and is a Linux and database system administrator at Smith College. You can find her online at and on Twitter at @zanzjan.

Finder: Adventures of a space-age repo man

Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” He’s running away from his past, for reasons that gradually become clear. But right now he’s focused on chasing something: an expensive, sentient spaceship, Venetia's Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Arum Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This repo mission has led Fergus to Cerneken or “Cernee,” a haphazard space colony consisting of a ring station surrounded by a of hundreds of marginally-habitable rocks, metal cans and dead ships, all tied together with a web of cables, with cable cars running passengers between the various habitats. Here Gilger has his home base, one of the “big five” powers on Cernee.

Fergus has a plan and a secret method of taking control of Venetia’s Sword, shared with him by the shipbuilders. But things go wrong for... Read More

Magazine Monday: Interzone, Issue 239

Interzone is a British science fiction and fantasy magazine that’s been around since 1982. It’s expensive as SF magazines go for American readers, but Interzones great fiction and detailed movie, television and book reviews are worth the expense. After a period of relative penury has eased somewhat, I’ve subscribed again, and I’m greatly enjoying some very good fiction.

One of the strongest stories in the most recent issue (#239) is “Tangerine Nectarine Clementine Apocalypse” by Suzanne Palmer, a hard science fiction story that starts out sounding like a fantasy. It takes some time before the reader places the fruit stand at which most of the events of the story take place on a generation ship instead of a far distant planet. The ship is called Utopia, and no payment is exchanged for goods. The boy, Echa, believes i... Read More

SHORTS: Valentine, Bradbury, Palmer, Lee

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Given Advantage of the Blade” by Genevieve Valentine (August 2015, free at Lightspeed Magazine)
If you’ve ever wanted to have a cagematch between Snow White’s stepmother and the evil queen in Sleeping Beauty, this is the story for you. It’s also the story for you if you find the never-ending woman-on-woman violence inherent to many of our most beloved fairy tales getting a little old.

Genevieve Valentine imagines a situation in which all the female villains and heroines of fairy tales the world over are put in a room together ... and given knive... Read More

SHORTS: Palmer, Bright, Gailey, Mudie

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we wanted you to know about.

“The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Sept. 2017, free at Clarkesworld). 2018 Hugo award winner (novelette).

Fans of WALL-E will particularly appreciate this whimsically poignant tale about an outdated robot with a can-do attitude.  Robot #9 is reactivated by its spaceship after a lengthy time in storage, and is assigned the task of ridding the Ship of a particularly destructive “biological infestation” (the bots begin to call it the “ratbug,” though Bot 9 privately questions the accuracy of that moniker) ... Read More

SHORTS: Palmer, Schutz, Gregory, Goh, McKee

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we wanted you to know about.

“Thirty-Three Percent Joe” by Suzanne Palmer (2018, free online at Clarkesworld, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue)

Science fiction humor is very hard to pull off, and rarely works for me. This Suzanne Palmer story is a radiant exception. Palmer hits a grand-slam with a human soldier who has 33% of his body replaced with smart parts, including a heart, one arm, part of the lower intestine and a spleen. An implanted Central Control Unit manages all of the implants, and their mission is to keep Joe alive. There are a co... Read More

SHORTS: Cho, Stueart, Palmer, Kingfisher

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few excellent stories, including two of the recently announced Hugo nominees, that we wanted you to know about.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho (2018, free to read online or download at Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog). 2019 Hugo award winner (novelette).

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again, by Zen Cho, is a Hugo-nominated novelette about an imugi, a Korean creature who isn’t quite a dragon yet, but desperately wants to ascend to Heaven and join that august ... Read More

SHORTS: Hill, Osborne, Towles, Buckell, Palmer

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week's post reviews two more Locus Award nominees, along with other recent short fiction works that we've enjoyed.

Late Returns by Joe Hill (2019, included in the Full Throttle collection). Locus award finalist (novelette)

Joe Hill, who like his famous father typically writes in the horror genre, switches it up in Late Returns, a novelette that was originally published in his Read More