Monday, October 27, 2008

Short Fiction Online: “It Takes a Town” by Stephen V. Ramey (2002)

We just finished reading "It Takes a Town,” a short story written by Stephen V. Ramey that was originally published online in Strange Horizons (2002) and recently reprinted in the anthology Triangulation: Taking Flight (2008).

A tale about a small town in Indiana that somehow manages to launch a rocket to Mars, here’s how Martin McGrath describes "It Takes a Town" in a review at The Fix: Short Fiction Review: “Ramey has written one of those folksy American SF tales where small-town Yankees apply their boundless ingenuity to achieve something magical that all the huffing and puffing of big government and big city folk could never manage. In this case, they launch a rocket to Mars. And they do it despite living in a post-fossil fuel, globally warmed society ... This is sentimental, hokey, and familiar stuff that draws on the marrow of American science fiction, and yet it is also irresistibly, infuriatingly appealing. ...”

As the blog QuasarDragon pointed out last month, a reading of Ramey’s “It Takes a Town” can be downloaded as an mp3 file from PodCastle: The Fantasy Fiction Podacst. According to the comments at PodCastle, at least one listener found the story distasteful: “Yet another sentimentalist tale pushing the ideals of community and optimism. ugh. I hear so many of these that not only have i become numb to them and their cliched hopefully happy endings, but i now find myself slightly nauseated.”

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