Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction
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Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Miner. Harvester. Mechanic. Sanitation Worker. These are not the typical careers of your average science fiction protagonist. Until now.

MENIAL: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction presents seventeen stories about the people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

From the literal guts of a spaceship, to the energy-starved lands of a future Earth, to the inhospitable surfac...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published January 21st 2013 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published January 1st 2013)
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Reviewing an anthology is always a bit more difficult than reviewing a novel. So is rating it. Does one poor story deserve to bring down the entire anthology? Should I mention every single story?

I gave this anthology a 5-star rating. I do not do this because every single story blew me away; they didn't, although I don't remember any story that I loathed, which is impressive in its own right. Partly I was predisposed to being impressed by the anthology because of the theme: the menial. That is, n...more
Most science fiction stories are bout tall, square-jawed adventurers exploring the galaxy and singlehandedly vanquishing the alien foe. What about the people who perform the unexciting "blue collar" jobs that make the voyages possible?

A being, of indeterminate gender, maintains a ship's waste treatment system. A female asteroid miner has a unique companion. It is an alien-constructed being, made from human sperm. It looks exactly like a human, but, on the inside, there is no mind or personality....more
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! I don't normally care for books of short stories but I must say that each and every one of these stories were highly entertaining. I recommend reading Menial. I look forward to more works from these authors.
N.A. Ratnayake
Crossed Genres has released a great collection in MENIAL . Rating an anthology is always difficult, because my ratings for individual stories tend to vary. I would really like to give MENIAL a 3.5; alas, that is not an option, so I'll play it conservative and 3 it is.

Here's the good. Firstly, I LOVE the theme of the anthology. MENIAL focuses on the people whose lives, hopes, struggles, and dreams would never have crossed the minds of the bridge crew of the Enterprise. They are the common folk...more
This has to be one of my favorite collection of short stories that I've ever read. Kelly Jennings, Shay Darrach, and the various authors who contributed to this book really hit their goal of portraying exploring the not so typical careers of your average science fiction protagonist. Some of my favorite short stories from this include, Diamond in the Rough by A.J. Fitzwater, Sarah 87 by Camille Alexa, The Didibug Pin by Barbara Krasnoff, and The Heart of the Union by Dany G. Zuwen.
I picked this because it was about unusual jobs in Science Fiction and I was glad I had done so. There were some really good stories in there. Unfortunately one or two I didn't like, but that was more because of my taste than that there was anything actually wrong with the stories. Overall there is a nice diversity of stories and anyone who enjoys short Science Fiction stories should at least give it a try.
Victoria Lee
I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology. The stories were diverse, in unique locales, and the main characters in each story are not your normal protagonists.
Matt Cowens
Brilliant collection with a diverse range of characters, styles etc. Highly enjoyable!
With so many of these stories I was ready to go all in, the characters were really great and the settings were intriguing, and then they were over and I wished there were more story. Not in length but in depths and complexity; there is so much potential richness here, and I would have loved to see it explored more.
Dec 18, 2012 Lisa marked it as to-read
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I won this on First Reads. I am eager to receive it.
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