Literary Voyage Reading Challenge for 2018

Gathering Books is running a Literary Voyage Reading Challenge for 2018 (#LitWorld2018GB). I never finished my blog posts on audio short stories from around the world. So I thought I'd challenge myself to collect and listen to a short story available online (for free, read in English) from as many individual countries as possible. This is slightly subverting the challenge but not outside their guidelines.

The Literary Voyage Reading Challenge has 5 goals to choose from:

  1. Literary Hitchhiker – 25-40 countries
  2. Literary Vagabond – 41-60 countries
  3. Literary Explorer – 61-80 countries
  4. Literary Adventurer – 81-99 countries
  5. Literary Globetrotter – 100 countries and above

There are many more audio stories available on-line than when I last blogged audio short stories in 2015. This is due to magazines such as Strange Horizons (especially Samovar), and Clarkesworld making huge contributions to publishing short speculative fiction in translation. Most of the short story podcasts concentrate on science fiction and fantasy so, with maybe a few exceptions, this will be reflected in my challenge list.

I'm aiming for goal 3: Literary Explorer as I already have a collection of audio stories from around 60 separate countries. These were first published in 2017 or earlier.

I'm posting links to the stories via Huffduffer so I can download and listen to them using pod casting software. These collections are public so feel free to subscribe to these lists using RSS or you favourite app and follow along. I have two lists, LitWorld2018GB is the list of stories I've already listened to for this challenge and will eventually contain a single story from each country. My "stories to be listened to" pile is under rtwoa. As I find new stories I'll add them to this second list, including stories published in 2018. This second list may contain more than one story from some countries.

As I listen to the stories I'll try to publish very short (~140 character) reviews/descriptions here is small groups.

As always I encourage you to support the magazines publishing these stories with donations to make sure they can keep on doing such great work.

PS: I previously blogged a list of online stories (text not audio) from 100 different countries for those interested in reading the world.

January/February reviews

Country Author Gender Year Title + Comment
Sri Lanka Mary Anne Mohanraj F 2014 Communion 🖹 🔉
Humans and aliens share alien funeral customs
Finland Hannu Rajaniemi M 2008 His Master’s Voice 🖹 🔉
A dog and cat with augmented intelligence save their master
Netherlands Jetse de Vries M 2012 Connoisseurs of the Eccentric  🖹 🔉
Aliens trade new technology for Earth’s most spectacular failures
Ukraine Anatoly Belilovsky M 2013 Pas de Deux 🔉
Blowing things up for hidden motives
Ireland Caitlín R. Kiernan F 2012 The Steam Dancer (1896) 🖹 🔉
A steampunk cyborg lives to dance
Jamaica Nalo Hopkinson F 2015 Snow Day 🖹 🔉
A talking raccoon and all the world are offered the stars. Would you accept?
Israel Lavie Tidhar M 2013 Oracle 🖹 🔉
A women finds her purpose Joined to a vast network of AI computers. To understand this (?) see Tidhar’s Central Station story cycle
India Indraparmit Das M 2012 Weep for Day 🖹 🔉
Sister and brother, on a tidally locked planet during a genocidal war, respond to fear of the others. One becomes a scientist the other a soldier
Singapore JY Yang F 2013 Old Domes 🖹 🔉
Guardians of old buildings fight a sympathetic Cullmaster armed only with a plastic sword
Russia Ekaterina Sedia F 2009 Herding Vegetable Sheep 🖹 🔉
A pilot helps her grand daughter in a country isolated by information control - bonus for NZ reference