Sandi's Reviews > Wireless

Wireless by Charles Stross
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's review
Nov 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: library-books-read, sci-fi, 2009
Read in December, 2009

It's really hard to give a star rating to a short story collection, especially one by an author who is as hit-and-miss as Charles Stross. I've read two of his novels. I hated one and really enjoyed the other. That's kind of how I feel about the stories in Wireless.

Two of the stories, "Down on the Farm" and "Palimpsest" would have rated 5 stars. I especially liked "Down on the Farm" and will be checking out his novels featuring The Laundry, The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue. "Rogue Farm" was an interesting story that reminded me a bit of some of Ian McDonald's stories. It would rate 4.5 stars.

In the truly awful category, we have "Trunk and Disorderly", a really lame attempt at humor that is absolutely disgusting. It's filled with vomit, drunkenness, and a really nasty dwarf mammoth. "A Colder War" also missed the mark for me. It didn't stick with any of the characters long enough to connect with them. As a result, the end didn't have the impact it should have. "Maxos", a letter published in "Nature" magazine was incomprehensible and didn't fit in a short story collection.

Somewhere in the middle, we have "Missile Gap" which is kind of like a "Twilight Zone" episode; "Snowball's Chance", a story about a devil; and "Unwirer", an alternate history that wasn't very plausible.

Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. I tilted it to 4 stars because I liked more of the stories than I disliked.
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12/10/2009 page 19
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert I suggest taking the arithmetic mean and rounding to the nearest whole number...

Sandi Robert wrote: "I suggest taking the arithmetic mean and rounding to the nearest whole number..."

I think that would only work if I had given each story a star rating. Also, I think story length counts for something too. The two stories I liked best were the longest. "Palimpsest" was a novella-length story.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Well, I wouldn't take length into consideration, myself, but yes, every story would have o be rated for it to work.

Kelly H. (Maybedog) Nice review Sandi.

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