It used to be the case that people who didn't read books on a regular basis weren't very smart, but that was back when books were all there really was to read. I don't read books on a regular basis. I seem to read the internet instead. I'm quite well informed on current events, but I tend to prefer my information in bite sized morsels. My attention span sucks. I'm not willing to make the commitment to sit down and read some 800 page tome, even if its a really, really good 800 page tome.
So I enjoy getting the odd SciFi short story off the net. All of the fun associated with reading a real sci fi story, without having to invest a lot of time. Rudy Rucker, one of my favorite Sci Fi authors has started a totally free Internet short story magazine called Flurb. This could be a good source of entertainment when I'm sick of starting at serious discussions about the power of the presidency in war time. The name of the magazine comes from the story I'm linking here, published in their first issue, which I enjoyed and I think sums up what I like about Rudy Rucker and what I like about California at the same time.
Yes, the very summer when Jory had been casting about for a topic for his physics thesis—good Lord, that was forty years ago—he’d found a ring of magic mushrooms in a glen in the woods across the creek that cut through Gunnar’s farm. Turned out Gunnar knew about the mushrooms, not that he was interested in eating them. Gunnar claimed he’d once seen tiny old men and a single beautiful elf-woman dancing around the circle in the invisible light of the new moon.
Jory hadn’t seen dancing elves; he’d seen a hailstorm of bejeweled polyhedra. He’d begun hopping from one to the other, climbing them like stepping-stones, like moving platforms in a videogame. The name for a new science—“rhizomal subdimension theory”—came in a crystalline flash from a blazing rhombicosidodecahedron. And quickly this incantatory phrase led to a supernal white-light vision of a new quantum cosmology.