A collection of the very short fiction written by John Scalzi. Some of the stories have been published before, and some are new to this collection. JoA collection of the very short fiction written by John Scalzi. Some of the stories have been published before, and some are new to this collection. John Scalzi always has an interesting take on aliens and technology. As he himself says, rather than focusing on first contact (because it's been done to death) he likes to focus on interactions that have become an everyday thing. For instance, "New Directives for Employee-Manxtse Interactions" is a memo sent out to the employees of a grocery store explaining how to interact with Manxtse customers.
My favorite story was "The Other Large Thing". I caught on immediately, and can absolutely see this happening in my own household. And that's all I'm going to say because - spoilers.
"Alien Animal Encounters" also tickled me. Especially the final alien encounter. Again, can totally picture it happening.
"Important Holidays on Gronghu", who knew that aliens could be so enamored with cheese. I have a relative who would fit in perfectly on this planet.
By no means is this all the stories, there's intelligent yogurt that takes over the world. There are superheroes and supervillains, there are adorable children selling lemonade, and there is artificial intelligence that isn't going to take over the world and more.
Reading these stories reminds me that I really need to finish listening to the Old Man's War series. I've been delaying because I really don't want to finish and lose my Scalzi fix. On the other hand, I really want to see where it's going. So there's that. Fans of Scalzi, Christopher Moore, A. Lee Martinez, Futurama and any other comic sci-fi shouldn't miss this one....more
Grunt is the latest in Mary Roach's series of best selling "The Science of" books. This time she's looking at war and the soldiers who wage it. PrimarGrunt is the latest in Mary Roach's series of best selling "The Science of" books. This time she's looking at war and the soldiers who wage it. Primarily a series of essays each touching on one aspect or another. As always in her books bodily fluids, this time in the form of diarrhea, are front and center. Interesting stuff, I'd never really stopped to think about the role diarrhea might play in warfare. Runny bowels aside I found the most interesting topic to be groin injury and the potential possibility of penis transplants becoming a viable option....more
This story was fun. It put me in mind of a D&D campaign where a bunch of novice players were given the Players Handbook and told to pick out theirThis story was fun. It put me in mind of a D&D campaign where a bunch of novice players were given the Players Handbook and told to pick out their class. "Hey, this looks cool, I want to be a ranger, or a wizard, or a fighter."
The characters were students in training to be adventurers. Part of that training included being sent out on quests, in a party containing one each of the most common classes, and learning to work together. Except that, there was something off about some of the quests. Something that the party couldn't quite put it's finger on.
I would have liked a little more backstory on the rogue, but I guess she was meant to be mysterious. Perhaps her story will be fleshed out more fully in subsequent books. I won't give away any spoilers about the rest of the party. Suffice it to say that there is more to the fighter's story than there appears and a dwarven wizard is either a delight or an abomination depending on which edition is your favorite.
I would absolutely read further novels in this series. ...more