Some good stories, and not difficult to get through, although I guess I'm just not as interested in stories about scientific ideas for their own sake.Some good stories, and not difficult to get through, although I guess I'm just not as interested in stories about scientific ideas for their own sake. Science is interesting, but I don't have a desire to understand it on a deeper level, so some of the purely conceptual stories bored me. Best story was "Cal," about a robot who wanted to become a writer and whose owner became jealous of his increasing skills.
About half of the book was science fiction stories and half was essays on science fiction and writing. It was kind of cheap (or profitable, in the publisher's case) to take introductions that Asimov had written for other anthologies and... anthologize them. I enjoyed several of them, but more the ones that weren't so obviously commenting on material from other collections.
Worth a read for those who are interested in reading and writing science fiction....more
This was an enjoyable short story and an interesting addition to the Lumatere Chronicles. It was published in Review of Australian Fiction, and you caThis was an enjoyable short story and an interesting addition to the Lumatere Chronicles. It was published in Review of Australian Fiction, and you can buy the issue here.
Lady Celie of the Lumateran Flatlands travels to Ferragost Isle in Belagonia as a spy and ends up getting involved in a murder investigation.
Fun characters. I was a little confused about why Celie called Banyon a "coward," but I thought it was because he came to search her room for stolen goods instead of for... (ahem) something else. I'm not sure if I believed their attraction, but the story was fun anyway and again, as always so far with Marchetta, I didn't guess the ending.
Celie found out some pretty huge stuff about another kingdom that demands more story.
I've read part of the companion story, Molasses by Kirsty Eagar, in this issue. The writing seems a bit rougher and the characters difficult to get into initially, but once the backstory starts to emerge it becomes interesting. I plan to finish reading it, but probably will not write any more of a review of it since it wasn't my primary reason for reading the issue....more
Picked this up at a used book sale because I wanted to try reading some westerns. It contains a huge introduction, the short story "The Sixth Shotgun"Picked this up at a used book sale because I wanted to try reading some westerns. It contains a huge introduction, the short story "The Sixth Shotgun" and the novella "The Rider of the Ruby Hills."
The introduction was what had me snoring. It seems like the editor talks about everything L'Amour had ever written. I would have been fine with a short and sweet biography, maybe including some of the explanation about how his original stories as published in the pulp magazines were better than the novels he extended them into. It was also interesting to learn that he recycled, for the most part, three main plots, of which "The Rider of the Ruby Hills" fits the "range war" type. Beyond that, though, it was over fifty pages of totally unnecessary background.
The two stories were pretty enjoyable. I didn't pick up on any inconsistencies, but I tend to read for the big picture and don't notice little problems with details (the editor also mentioned in the intro that L'Amour rarely wrote a second draft of any of his books and the stories are typically riddled with tiny problems that he forgot about)....more
Endo writes vividly about the history of Christian martyrdom in Japan and his own personal experience of the pain of middle life in this short story cEndo writes vividly about the history of Christian martyrdom in Japan and his own personal experience of the pain of middle life in this short story collection.
While I love Endo's writing, I liked some of the stories in this anthology more than others. Since most of them were autobiographical, they became repetitive, especially where Endo's stay in the hospital and several lung surgeries were concerned.
The ones I enjoyed the most were "Despicable Bastard," in which a man goes along with his supposedly Christian companions to a leper hospital during WWII and experiences the shame of his discomfort with the lepers, along with his fear of physical pain; "Fuda-no-Tsuji," in which a man reflects on a teacher he knew earlier in life whom none of the students respected, but who ended up sacrificing his life to save another's during the Holocaust; "Mothers," in which Endo explores his own relationship with his mother alongside a trip to visit some kakure Christians, descendants of 17th century apostates who worship the Virgin Mary; and "The War Generation," in which a man reflects on a concert he attended in Tokyo during the firebombing and how he must carry these hidden memories in his normal, everyday life.
I'm especially interested in Endo's views on weakness--how so many of us struggle with wanting to do the right thing, yet are too selfish or afraid. A lot of his stories reflect that struggle, and also the forgiveness and freedom from guilt that God offers those of us who fail in it at any given time. It's a very human struggle and it's part of what makes his novel Silence so powerful to me....more
Obviously this book was a fun project to put together. In 1984, Chris Van Allsburg published a picture book called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick--eaObviously this book was a fun project to put together. In 1984, Chris Van Allsburg published a picture book called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick--each image in the book had a unique theme and was also uniquely weird. In The Chronicles... famous authors have taken on the task of writing a story surrounding each of those images.
The first two stories in the book weren't as imaginative, but the rest of them were all good. The ones that stood out the most to me were Sherman Alexie's story about two twins who pretend that an empty dress is their triplet, Lois Lowry's about a little girl who can levitate chairs, M. T. Anderson's about a boy who discovers after venturing too far away from his neighborhood that he's the only person who's a real human being, and Stephen King's about a house that is slowly morphing into a spaceship....more
I stopped short of reading the last couple of stories in this book. It was recommended to me by a co-worker who really enjoyed the series when she wasI stopped short of reading the last couple of stories in this book. It was recommended to me by a co-worker who really enjoyed the series when she was younger. It's a book of tales about Scarboy, later called Hero, who escapes from the Enchanted City into the woods outside, a place called Great Park ruled by the King. There he meets various friends of the King like Mercie, Princess Amanda, and the blue-clothed Rangers.
Although I liked a few of the stories, such as the one about the juggler who was worried that he would get in trouble for hearing a different rhythm inside, I found that overall it was too much allegory for me. In a truly allegorical story, I can't quite seem to appreciate the story for what it is and not try to decipher it in my head as I go along, which is distracting. I can see how the tales might appeal to kids, though....more
A great collection of essays to inspire writers. My favorite has got to be the final one: "How to Be Madder than Captain Ahab" by Ray Bradbury. I canA great collection of essays to inspire writers. My favorite has got to be the final one: "How to Be Madder than Captain Ahab" by Ray Bradbury. I can see why they put it last--it's certainly memorable. And nuts! Haha....more
An enjoyable book of short stories by Chekhov, a master of representing people as they are. My favorites were "The Kiss," "Three Years," "The House wiAn enjoyable book of short stories by Chekhov, a master of representing people as they are. My favorites were "The Kiss," "Three Years," "The House with the Mansard," and "The Darling."...more