Really good. But WARNING - it started off pretty slowly for me. Basically a man convicted in court of a crime awakens to find himself - where? The slo...moreReally good. But WARNING - it started off pretty slowly for me. Basically a man convicted in court of a crime awakens to find himself - where? The slow start is due to some pretty long (for a short story) musings about the nature of consciousness, death, spiritual and physical being, yada yada yada. It just lasts too long and doesn't hook you well. The narrator doesn't even decide for too long whether he's alive or not. Once, however, he does decide he's alive and conscious, then the story is great. Description is vivid and thoughtful enough to put in the prisoner's shoes. It's very suspenseful right up to last sentence, and the abrupt finale doesn't take away anything from the pleasure. A fine work! Worth getting past the opening to experience.(less)
A short collection of short stories, you'll fly through these. Usually I like to make a short comment about each story in a short story collection, bu...moreA short collection of short stories, you'll fly through these. Usually I like to make a short comment about each story in a short story collection, but my individual impressions were too undefined to express easily.
I would have read this anyway, as part of the 1001 BYMRBYD list, but if I had picked it out at the store randomly, I think I would have been disappointed at the very tangential way the linking thread (the 1995 Kobe earthquake) was incorporated in each of these 6 stories. That said, these stories felt much like my impressions of 2 of the 3 Murakami novels I've read so far: the characters and stories hooked me and were intriguing, and then towards the end either the plotline or the author's intended point didn't seem to pan out or reach through. But strangely with Murakami this feels as if the fault may rest with the reader more than the author. Definitely I still have a deep affection for Murakami's style, and I feel a connectedness to his work that is NOT put off by some of the weirdnesses (the magical realism, the odd portrayals of sex, etc. etc. - see other people's reviews for lots of mentions of weird repetitive treatments). I just wish at times for clear defined endings - think the movie "Crash".
I would like to say that I felt really moved by most of these stories even though I wasn't always sure why or in what way. I definitely WILL keep reading Murakami. Re-reads may be called for, especially after letting the works sit with me for a bit. (less)
I didn't the three additional short stories in this book. I started the first one after BAT, but it didn't catch me, and I was moody at the time about...moreI didn't the three additional short stories in this book. I started the first one after BAT, but it didn't catch me, and I was moody at the time about my reading. I do hope to read them someday though.
Regarding the title story or novella, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very short, and the characters are interesting and unusual. It is very different from the movie, (and better I think, makes more sense). Capote's dialogue is top notch, and features regularly, and his writing style is such that the writing melts away and leaves you to be swept up in the story and its characters.
Given how quick you'll get through it, I can't think of a good reason for anyone NOT to read this. Especially if you've seen the movie. I hadn't really cared for the movie, but this helps make more sense of the characters and helps you like them better. Surprise, surprise, another instance when the book cannot be touched by a movie adapted from it.(less)
Wow, realized my to-be-read shelf has a LOT of sci-fi, and a lot of short stories, and a lot of the short stories are sci-fi. Decided to work some in....moreWow, realized my to-be-read shelf has a LOT of sci-fi, and a lot of short stories, and a lot of the short stories are sci-fi. Decided to work some in.... Will try to make a note about the individual stories as I go.
NOTE - SPOILERS!!!! (Although I intend to keep the De-tail level DOWN.)
2* The Nine Billion Names of God Very short, ok. Maybe because I've run across similar ideas in other sci-fi before? Super computer helps speed mankind's completion of its "ultimate purpose" (per some Tibetan monks), thus ending the universe.
3* Refugee Very short, enjoyable. Spaceship captain unwittingly helps British royalty escape the bonds of Earth and his subjects.
3* The Other Side of the Sky [Title Story] Consists of 6 short vignettes featuring the lives of those employed in the first generation of off-planet (mostly orbital) employment. Of course, turned out to be too optimistic as far as timing, (we aren't there yet) but still thoughtful. Light and heavy all at once - meaning, it's a fun read, but gives you some serious food for thought if you're up for it afterwards.
4* The Wall of Darkness Medium length, tells of a human on a distant planet (or in a distant universe?) whose search for knowledge throws him up against an ungraspable physics phenomenon. No, I guess that doesn't make it sound fabulous, but it is....
2* Security Check Very short. Set and prop designer for a SF tv series becomes a security threat - to SOMEone.
3* No Morning After Very short. The only earthling open to a telepathic warning from the stars to mankind is too drunk to take it seriously.
============= I developed a bit of guilt last night about NOT liking the 2* stories very much. Maybe because I feel that a good short story is SO difficult to achieve, the shorter the harder, and I recognize and agree that these are very well-crafted. If I had written them I'd be insufferably proud of it. But for whatever reason, those couple are just not hitting me right. Meaning, I guess, that if I never read them again, I wouldn't feel sorry about it, whereas usually I have some regret knowing I will likely not read something again rather than read something else for the first time. =============
2.5* Venture to the Moon (I know, I know, but I just kept waffling between 2 & 3) Another title that consists of a series of (again 6) vignettes. As with The Other Side of the Sky, the disconnect between the potential timing and course of space exploration and industry versus what has ended up happening so far is very noticeable, but it really does not take away from these. The technical challenges experienced by the astronauts due to the environmental differences from life on Earth are of course still in line with what we expect. Therefore if you can set yourself mentally "back in time" there is still relevance. They all have a humorous or ironic climax. Many deal directly or have a strong side themes regarding human nature. Again, old SF doesn't lose its relevance, and by most good old authors wasn't written in a "technological vacuum".
3* Publicity Campaign Very short. Earth encounters our first alien visitors. Must have been inspired by the War of the Worlds radio program incident.
3* All the Time in the World Thief is hired by a mysterious stranger, and then wants in on the action. Only to learn more than he wants to know.
3* Cosmic Casanova At a rare meeting with the descendant's of one of Earth's long ago settled colony planets, an expectant playboy gets more than he bargained for.
3* The Star Clergyman experiences doubts after his astronomical research reveals the truth of Bethlehem's star.
2* Out of the Sun Solar survey ship encounters something unexpected and poignant.
4* Songs of Distant Earth Not a looong short story, by any means, but at 25 pages by far the longest in this collection of pretty short entries. A chance meeting due to a colony ship's forced landing for repairs on a different long-ago founded colony planet births a bittersweet love affair and reflections on purpose and change and their importance to a human soul.
================================= Giving it 3 stars based on averaging my individual story impressions, but overall I wasn't as impressed as I like to be with short stories. Maybe Clarke needs a little more room to work with... I certainly appreciate him as a novelist.(less)
Below are short notes on the individual stories: a rating, title, author, brief description or reminder to myself. I think I started reading this coll...moreBelow are short notes on the individual stories: a rating, title, author, brief description or reminder to myself. I think I started reading this collection in Nov 2007. I started recording my thoughts here in Feb 08. Reading a story or two between novels when it's convenient to have a shorter length material to read.
This hardback consists of two previously published collections of many authors' works, selected and with notations by Asimov: The Future in Question, and Space Mail.
My overall impression is a nice collection. An average of my below ratings is 3.3* overall, 3.1* for Future and 3.4* for Mail. I seem to prefer mediocre sci-fi stories to mediocre stories of other genres. I also note that while there were plenty of stories that I didn't personally find notable, of 37 total entries there were 19 I rated as 4* and 2 I rated as 5*. I look fwd to re-reading the 4s and 5s sometime. A wide number of writers are represented, so this also serves as a great introduction to many "old-school" authors. I definitely recommend to SF fans!
THE FUTURE IN QUESTION *** What's It Like Out There? by Edmond Hamilton (coming of age, public vs. private thoughts/expectations) *** Who Can Replace a Man? by Brian Aldiss (non-horror view of machine intelligence) **** What Have I Done? by Mark Clifton (morality and humanity questions) **** Who's There? by Arthur C. Clarke (fun) **** Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? by Robert Sheckley (recommend to myself to check out other work by this author) *** Why? by Robert Silverberg (one resolution for some existential questions: why explore? what's the point?) ** What's Become of Screwloose? by Ron Goulart (humorous, but it didn't really work for me, maybe not the author's fault, as I'm not known for my sense of humor) **** Houston, Houston, Do You Read? by James Tiptree, Jr. nome de pen of Alice Sheldon (LOVED it! Was really caught up in the original, obvious danger (was anxious, was annoyed at interruptions in my reading at that point) and then intrigued by the gender and other questions raised.) ? (didn't note at time and can't remember how well I liked it) Where Have You Been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? by Kate Wilhelm (teen angst of the future, same as the present) *** If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? by Theodore Sturgeon (Questioning sexual norms; Reminds me of Heinlein, but not as effective.) * Will You Wait? by William Bester (humorous, I get it, but it just didn't work for me) *** Who Goes There? by Joseph W. Campbell (good creepy changeling tale) **** An Eye for a What? by Damon Knight (interplanetary miscommunication) **** I Plinglot, Who You? by Frederik Pohl (alien plot to have earthlings destroy each other is foiled) *** Will You Walk a Little Faster? by William Tenn (aliens (who have a "prime directive" type law in place) want us to accept a weapon from them that will help us destroy each other faster, and without destroying the real estate (planet Earth) in the process (like nuclear weapons do); good, short and sweet, but I wasn't keen on the ending.) * Who's In Charge Here? by James Blish (I just didn't get this one. Super short. I think it's about some aliens posing as beggars that are going around incognito collecting information about us (since we all ignore beggars). But I don't get the ending part, and I have no idea the answer to the title question. I must be clueless.) **** The Last Question; by Isaac Asimov (A great example that science can exist peacefully with religion. And I love it. It's very hopeful.)
SPACE MAIL **** I Never Ast No Favors; by C.M. Kornbluth (entertaining, humorous, light story of petty criminal who spends probation on a farm where he finds the unexpected) **** Letter to Ellen; by Chan Davis (should scientists try to create humans from "scratch"? kind and thoughtful story) **** Space Opera; by Ray Russell (Just a nice short adventure tale with a funny side.) **** The Invasion of the Terrible Titans; by William Sambrot (Short, fun, clever. And "tight" - no longer than necessary.) *** That Only A Mother; by Judith Merril (I was creeped out by this, and not in a pleasant way. 2* based on it was too icky for me, but 4* based on effective writing, so I end up with 3*.) ** Itch on the Bull Run; by Sharon Webb (Just didn't do much for me, but its me probably. Humorous story.) ***** Letter to a Phoenix; by Fredric Brown (Uplifting although cynical story of the uniqueness of humanity.) **** Computers Don't Argue; by Gordon R. Dickson (Horrifying - a short story scenario along the lines of M. Crichton: "the worst possible outcomes of new technology". Disturbing and stressful. In other words, effective!) **** Letters from Laura; by Mildred Clingerman (Very funny story of time travel as a marketable commodity.) ** Damn Shame; by Dean R. Lambe (We fall prey to our own disrespect for the environment. Maybe I would have liked it better back when it was written. Today it is a tired theme.) **** The Trap; by Howard Fast (Long, almost novella, about raising the first supermen... I enjoyed, but the ending, which felt authentic, is also bleak.) **** Flowers for Algernon; by Daniel Keyes (Sad story from the POV of a retarded man used in an "intelligence increasing" experiment.) **** The Second Kind of Loneliness; by George R.R. Martin (When a socially insecure man goes to a solitary space post for 4 years, does he become more or less lonely? does he increase or decrease his desire for human contact?) ** The Lonely; by Judith Merril (Story about genders, told through alien reference material about humans. B/c from alien point of view, it was a little too obfuscated for me to "get it" on the first read, and I didn't get enough from it to be motivated for a second read. But I feel this is more about me (or the mood I was in) than the story itself.) * Secret Unattainable; by A.E.vanVogt (About an advanced Hitler-backed sci research project. This one didn't do much for me.) *** After the Great Space War; by Barry N. Malzberg (Who's opinion counts most - the low-rank man-on-the-scene, or the high-rank man entrusted with keeping his troops in line? One answer....) **** The Prisoner; by Christopher Anvil (The moral: never disregard an alien corpse.) *** Request for Proposal; by Anthony R. Lewis (A bureaucratic nightmare... Too bad its just an exaggeration of what bur. often produce.) **** He Walked Around the Horses; by H. Beam Piper (A cool alternate history.) *** The Power; by Murray Leinster (The mystery power wielded by a demon could just be a science beyond our present grasp.)
I was trying to keep up on this one with a short note and rating for each individual story, but I missed one of the stories. I was going to rate the w...moreI was trying to keep up on this one with a short note and rating for each individual story, but I missed one of the stories. I was going to rate the whole based on an average individual rating - but here's the thing - these stories are too deep and sad to read all at once. So even though it is basically a book of four star stories, I'm giving it a three star rating....
UNACCUSTOMED EARTH (title story), **** ======= SPOILERS ========= Sad with nostalgia, easy to relate to for those of a certain age, who've experienced inevitable changes in the major relationships in their life. Beautifully told, satisfying ending.
Ruma's recently widowed father comes from Pennsylvania to visit with her and her toddler son Akash, in their new Seattle home, while her American husband Adam is away for the week on business. She has been considering inviting her father to live with them now, but isn't sure whether she wants to, since she hasn't historically been close to him. By week's end, she wants him to stay, and asks, but he declines. As he leaves, she finds a postcard he had intended to mail to his new lover, whose existence had been unknown and unsuspected by her, but which her young son had found and misplaced. Although father and daughter had not discussed these things openly, they had each spent the week ruminating on their families, (their parents, marriages, children), their connections or lack of them with friends and social groups, and their careers - and the changes time creates in all these areas - and how they feel about that. Initially dismayed at discovering the postcard, Ruma thinks of the way her father honored her deceased mother while he was visiting - by including a hydrangea, her mother's favorite flower, in the garden he planted for Ruma. She mails the postcard.
HELL-HEAVEN, **** ========================== Usha reminisces about her family's (especially her mother's) relationship with a fellow Bengali "uncle", who would later marry and many years after divorce, an American woman. Mostly focused on her adolescent experience, the story points out how our mutual understanding can increase as our own life experiences help us to relate better with our parent.
CHOICE OF ACCOMODATIONS, *** ========================== Melancholy, but the ending leans towards positive, this story takes us into the school age past of the protagonist, and back to the present. Delving into the black hole that characterizes a spouse's past prior to our meeting them, it illustrates how easy it is for partners to move away from each other during a day, but also how easy it might be (if both participate) to move back towards each other.
ONLY GOODNESS, **** ========================== What happens when a married woman's hopefully recently reformed alcoholic brother comes to visit her at the home where she lives with her husband and new baby? How much can a person take? It differs from person to person. There are consequences to both building and tearing down boundaries. Although tough and straightforward, the author's telling is also kind and human.
HEMA AND KAUSHIK, **** ========================== A funny, sad, brilliant story, the characters and situations are so perfectly brought to life, I felt them deeply. I'm not sure how I feel about the - definitely poignant - ending. Maybe its too impersonal a way to permanently break apart two individuals who made such a difference to each other. Or perhaps that's the point - the impersonal in the world often becomes personal. And sometimes we must detach and distance that which is too personal.
TOLD IN 3 PARTS (although therefore longer, does not seem that way - flows nicely): ONCE IN A LIFETIME: Family friends moving back to the US after a stint in India invade the home of a young girl (Hema). Told in a mixture of 1st and 2nd person, Hema narrates as if speaking to Kaushik, the then 16-year-old son of her parents' friends. YEAR'S END: Now young adult Kaushik is negotiating his widower father's remarriage, his feelings and his relationships with his old and new family, and also romance of course. He becomes a nomadic photojournalist. GOING ASHORE: Hema (now a published college professor) and Kaushik happen across each other in Rome. (less)
I enjoyed this much more than The Purloined Letter, which I finished right before this. This is more like what I expected based on my remembrance of r...moreI enjoyed this much more than The Purloined Letter, which I finished right before this. This is more like what I expected based on my remembrance of reading The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart as a child. Good story, short and spooky. Poe's good descriptions and lyrical use of language put you in the right feel of time and place despite the older fashioned language. He does not belabor any points here either. It just flows. (less)
Not to malign a great early American author, but this just did not do anything for me. Very reminiscent of some Sherlock Holmes stories, this has far...moreNot to malign a great early American author, but this just did not do anything for me. Very reminiscent of some Sherlock Holmes stories, this has far less action, and the bulk of the text seems to be either a tedious description of the detailed police search for the letter, and the narrator's friend's treatise on the deficiency of narrow-minded, in-the-box thinking - whose minds are narrow, whose aren't, and why. Not bad, just didn't leave me with any satisfaction.(less)
SF short stories. I see that I started reading "in-between" in 2009, but this somehow got put away. Starting over again in 2012.
>>>>>>SPOILERS<<<<<<...moreSF short stories. I see that I started reading "in-between" in 2009, but this somehow got put away. Starting over again in 2012.
>>>>>>SPOILERS<<<<<< It's hard to notate a short story w/o, so just beware. Or don't read the story until after you've forgotten this review.... :o)
Note: The stories are each accompanied by an "afterword". Rather than finding these to be explanations with are required for the reader to understand the too-cryptic stories, I'm finding them to be rather interesting anecdotes about what prompted the story or why Bendford chose a specific approach.
In Alien Flesh - *** Team explores an intelligent life-form - from the inside. Creepy. Read 7 Apr 09, read again Oct 2012, still good, still creepy.
Time Shards - *** A recorded voice in a 1280 pottery piece leads Smithsonian workers to question the value of the historical information they are planning to leave to future millenia. Good ending. Read 8 Apr 09. Read again Oct 2012. Still good, still enjoy the ending!
All the following were read Oct 2012.
Redeemer - *** Advances in the speed of space travel result in the possibility of an encounter between a man to and his great grandmother. Unfortunately they have conflicting needs...
Snatching the Bot *** Using "cheat codes", a couple acquires two robots, and one of them "snatches" a third. Enjoyable quick read, although somewhat unsatisfying ending.
Relativistic Effects - no rating I just couldn't hang with this one. I'm taking the fault as my own, though... I think I didn't want to think that hard.
Nooncoming ** Somewhat flat story of some-time bedmates who are taking different directions - one embracing the new emerging culture, one stuck looking for the rewards of the past.
To the Storming Gulf ** Character interactions in the aftermath of a nuclear war. This somewhat longer story started out great. The characters were engaging, and I was very interested in the action primarily because of the characters, even the character of a cut-off-from-almost-all-inputs defense industry supercomputer. But the ending - in the form of an epilogue was too abrupt and too big a style change, appeared to be mostly serving the purpose of the author almost directly explaining his thoughts/hypothesis rather than continuing to follow the characters. Oh, it's clear the author is trying to stay engaged with the characters, but it just doesn't flow properly. Disappointing end to a creative and interesting tale.
White Creatures **1/2 Gaining fuzzy consciousness, a man tries to reconstruct his memory, trying to determine how he ended up here with aliens doing experiments on him. His memories take him through his relationship with a woman who saved her whole life to have herself frozen before death, so she could be revived in a time when - hopefully - antiaging technology is available. A great twist at the end concerning the identity of the alien "white creatures".
Me/Days **** A factory computer becomes self aware, leading to conflicts with programmers and factory workers. Told from the computer's POV.
Of Space/Time and the River ** Aliens visitors to Earth appear not to create much of a disruption. There interest seems to be mainly in ancient Egypt, with whose government they've made a deal. A visiting tourist and his wife find out though, that instead of preserving artifacts, the aliens plan to preserve (by removing from the planet) the entire Nile valley, and the pharoanic society of old.
Exposures - no rating Okay, nothing against Benford, and nothing against me. Apparently now was not the time for me with this book. A lot of technical astronomical detail in this story. I would normally want to wrap my head around it in my sad layman's way, but I just didn't have the patience for it. Maybe this would be a really good one for someone who has a good grasp of the technical details, so those details just flow through them and enhance the story to be told. I just needed a dumbed down version of this one.... I started skimming, and then skipping. You just can't do that with a short story, so I gave up.
Time's Rub - no rating Okay, here I go again. Didn't get "grabbed" by the beginning because I didn't want to think that hard. So I am not reading it. In this one its not technical terms that required the extra thinking, it's the vastly different reality being presented.
Doing Lennon - no rating And once I again, I just couldn't stick with it. It hooked me, after all, what's not interesting about a person who gets plastic surgery and freezes themselves in the hopes of impersonating John Lennon sometime in the far future? But then I got lost by the speculative part of this speculative fiction - computer personalities playing different impersonation scenarios to warn the "real" personality of possible pitfalls - think the movie War Games individualized and on steroids. Meh.
========= So, as a whole - too techy, too speculative, some of them, or at least for my pea brain. Maybe a person with more tech education themselves would love. If most sci fi seems too dumbed-down, then this is probably for you. For me, its back to "easy" stuff like Foundation etc. (less)
Finished the collection. Now, if I rated this by averaging my individual story ratings, I'd come just over 3*. But I also have to take into account th...moreFinished the collection. Now, if I rated this by averaging my individual story ratings, I'd come just over 3*. But I also have to take into account the feel of the whole collection for me. And that makes me have to go with 2*. Maybe I expected too much, but I was looking for more here. Yep, I gave seven 4* ratings, and two 5* ratings, but I'm just not gushing here. Even after reading one of those, I just never had a feeling of 'can't wait to see what's next'. I don't think that was a lot of synergy in the collection as a whole.
I don't want to turn anyone away from enjoying the good stories, because of the bad. And - I feel like short stories even more than novels are definitely a matter of personal taste. Perhaps - I hope - the ones I didn't like will speak more strongly to someone else!
Introduction, by Neil Gaiman, **** Yep, I'm rating the intro. Weird. I just really liked Gaiman's assertion that what drew him in as a young reader, and is still important to him today is the story. Great prose is fabulous, but it needs to be used to tell a great story, otherwise it's like, oh I dunno - dressing up a pig in a tuxedo. (No offense to any pig lovers out there...) I agree with Gaiman. I love stories, now matter how they're told (fiction, nonfiction, movie, tv, songs, jokes). In editing this collection, Gaiman states that a good story should make you ask "and then what happened?" We'll see how this collection stacks up.
"Blood" by Roddy Doyle, *** A strange suburban take on a 'vampire' story. Not great, but intriguing enough.
"Fossil Figures" by Joyce Carol Oates, **** A tale of twin boys, from birth to death, told in a darkly fantastic mythical tone. I loved it.
"Wildfire in Manhattan" by Joanne Harris, ** Gods' modern earthbound incarnations in conflict. Meh.
"The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" by Neil Gaiman, *** Leprechaun story? Somewhat intriguing. Who and what are good or evil, and can tempting fate really yield a reward?
"Unbelief" by Michael Marshall Smith, **** A hired assassin's Christmas tale. Short and not obvious, with a great ending.
"The Stars Are Falling" by Joe R. Lansdale, *** Does the true nature of man consist of physical domination in the forms of killing and sexual conquest?
"Juvenal Nyx" by Walter Mosley, *** A twist on the tradtional vampire story.
"The Knife" by Richard Adams, ** What should an uncle do?
"Weights and Measures" by Jodi Picoult, **** Describes what happens to a couple after their young daughter's death. Touching.
"Goblin Lake" by Michael Swanwick, *** Character must choose to be real or fictional. A little rambling, but makes you think.
The following stories have no notes beyond their ratings (I forgot to write a blurb down at the time I read them, just remember my "feel" for them enough to rate.
"Mallon the Guru" by Peter Straub, *** "Catch and Release" by Lawrence Block, *** "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" by Jeffrey Ford, * "Loser" by Chuck Palahniuk, ***
"Samantha's Diary" by Diana Wynne Jones, **** A future woman encounters an old Christmas Carol in a very real way.
"Land of the Lost" by Stewart O'Nan, *** Even though she wasn't asked, a grieving woman decides to help the police find a body.
"Leif in the Wind" by Gene Wolfe, ***** Team looking for habitable planets finds one. A great example (IMHO) of a good short story. Good choices of what details to use, and what explanations can be left out, resulting in good pacing and length. Plus a good story, with a satisfying ending.
"Unwell" by Carolyn Parkhurst, **** A reflection on the relationship between, and romances of, two "loving" sisters. Very well-written. I think maybe what takes it from 3 to 4 stars for me, though, is not the writing, but the audio performance I listened to. Even though the reader's voice is too young, her self-congratulatory tone is PERFECT.
"A Life in Fictions" by Kat Howard, ** I think this story in the same collection with 'Goblin Lake' is a bad choice, the themes being too similar. I'm not 100% sure my 'rating' for this one is as fair as it would be if this were the first one exploring this theme.
"Let the Past Begin" by Jonathan Carroll, *** Should a prospective father care whether the child is his, whether the mother is crazy? And is it? And is she? Good, but I felt very 'meh' about the ending.
"The Therapist" by Jeffery Deaver, **** Good plot, good pace. Good use of perspective switch from the crazy neme-preventing therapist to the prosecutor assigned to a murder case and back.
"Parallel Lines" by Tim Powers, ***** An excellent short short story. Another twin story. What happens when an elderly woman loses her twin sister?
"The Cult of the Nose" by Al Sarrantonio, ? Ummm... I have to refuse to rate this one now. I didn't make a note right away, and I don't remember my exact impressions very well today (a week or two later) and so now I can't, just can't, give a rating. I hate when that happens. However, I will say that I have NO INCLINATION to revisit it, which is not a positive sign. My gut is telling me something <3, >1, but I just won't be official about it.
"Human Intelligence" by Kurt Andersen, **** Very enjoyable first encounter story, featuring two likeable characters. Gave me warm fuzzy feeling inside. But don't worry, its upbeat, and I would NOT use the word mushy to describe it. :o)
"Stories" by Michael Moorcock, *** Cuttinly witty and literature-referential in an in your face way that I don't normally like, also very dark, but yet - I still 'liked' it in some weird twisted way. However, I don't think I would RECOMMEND it, I just found myself bizarrely gravitating to 3* instead of 2.
"The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand, *** Can't distill down to a blurb, but to tweak your interest I'll just say the characters know each due to the Smithsonian Nat'l Air & Space Museum. So its gotta be somewhat cool, right?
"The Devil on the Staircase" by Joe Hill, ** A love, and an interesting meeting. I would say well crafted story, but didn't really do anything for me. (less)
It's been a long time. From memory, I wouldn't think of this as serious literature, but as pulp somewhat. However, I remember enjoying these stories,...moreIt's been a long time. From memory, I wouldn't think of this as serious literature, but as pulp somewhat. However, I remember enjoying these stories, and having the feeling of being uplifted by them, feeling good and happy after having read them, which is certainly a plus.(less)
This particular collection/selection of Poe works may not be available PER SE, but Poe works are widely available in various formats and collections....moreThis particular collection/selection of Poe works may not be available PER SE, but Poe works are widely available in various formats and collections. Adding to my TBR. Read a few stories and enjoyed, not sure why I haven't read more yet.(less)