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Human For A Day

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  90 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Here's an anthology that examines what it means to be human in all its positive and negative aspects. If you were an intelligent robot, would the opportunity to become human for a day be worth the risks? If a magic spell switched the bodies of a vampire and a teenage girl, would both savor the experience or search for a way to undo the enchantment? What tests would an ange ...more
Kindle Edition, 317 pages
Published December 6th 2011 (first published January 1st 2011)
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This was one of the best anthologies I've read. Almost every story was good, and it had a very good balance and flow overall. I did read it slowly over quite a period of time, putting it down and picking it up again many times, but I think this one would have held up pretty well for a straight read through.

Ian Tregillis - The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul - A very good story, an intriguing alternate history and a moving story perfectly sculpted to fit the time available. I do
I didn't find most of these stories really enjoyable. They're well-written; good authors, some new to me. Maybe I just wasn't in a positive mood while reading this.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Human for a Day is a theme anthology that covers various beings becoming human, corporeal, incarnate, animate, or mortal for a limited period of time. The topics range from statues made animate to vampires swapping bodies with teenagers to steampunk machines gaining free will. There are also two stories about pets becoming humans, in case you wanted to revisit the old saw.

The stories are almost universally good, with a nice editing job, excellent length, and reasonable accessibility (though the
Mrs Giggles
What happens when a creature, or a thing, or even an abstract concept, takes on human form for a day? That's the question that the contributors to the anthology Human For A Day attempt to answer. The results are quite predictable - humans can love, hurt, hate, and more - but, at the same time, spectacular.

Ian Tregillis's The Mainspring Of His Heart, The Shackles Of His Soul is set in a steampunk version of 19th century Canada, at a time when the Netherlands is the center of power. Our hero is a
Joshua Palmatier
Human for a Day

Edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Jennifer Brozek

The title of this anthology pretty much says it all: the stories all surround what might or could happen if something non-human had the chance, or was given the curse, of being human for a day. It’s a great idea for an anthology theme (wish I’d thought of it), and those included here used that theme to its greatest extent. There’s a wide variety of interpretations on the theme, as well as a wide variety of tones for the stories. S
Cathy Green
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Human For A Day, a recent anthology of 16 original short stories from DAW Books, explores what it means to be human through the lens of various nonhuman entities such as dogs, swords, comic book characters, robots, and even an entire city that find themselves incarnated as fully human beings for a day. Greenberg and Brozek have chosen an interesting group of up-and-coming and well known authors including Tanith Lee, Eugie Foster, Ian Tregellis, Jay Lake, Seanan McGuire, Fiona Patton, Anton Strou ...more
Human for a Day is an anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek. Each story tackles a different aspect of the question: what if something could become human for just one day? How would that affect them and those around them? What would happen? Each author has a very different tale to tell, and the range is quite interesting. I’ll delve into a few of the individual tales, although I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers.

The Blade of His Plow by Jay Lake: Longinus is a deathless soldie
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology
The entire premise of the anthology is to explore what it means to be human by allowing a variety of... uh, non-humans and entities to be human for one day. How does being human differ from being anything else? What sets us apart, and is that a good thing or a bad thing? This is the sort of premise that draws me in like whoa, and it doesn't hurt that a few authors I love have contributed to the anthology, as well as a couple that I've been meaning to try out.

So having taken a look at each of the
The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul' I would give 3 stars. I enjoyed reading about Jax and his bittersweet ending. I just wish there was more, I would love you read other stories about this would that Ian Tregillis created for this short story.

The Blade of His Plow- 2 stars. I didn’t really get this story, maybe it’s because I war stories have never held my attention.

Cinderella City- ill also have to give this one 2 stars. I think if I had read Seanan McGuire’s books, this sto
Paul Bonamy
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What would it mean to be human (or even to exist) for exactly one day? To live among us, not as an outsider looking in, but as one of us in truth? What would it mean to go back, having lived as one of us? This excellent collection explores these questions from a variety of angles, and the answers aren't always what one would expect.

For some of the characters herein, becoming human is a gift deeply desired, for others a curse. To some, humanity is a curse to be remedied as quickly as possible, an
Timothy Tobolski
This one promises to be good: an anthology of beings attempting to transition from their original forms to that of being human. I picked this one up primarily for the promise of a short story with Tim Waggoner's 'Matt Richter', but the more I perused the stories collected, the more I became intrigued; Steampunk robot, vampire, angel, even a statue, all wishing to become human for at least a little while. And might not want to switch back. These are going to be more than just simple Pinocchio Syn ...more
The short stories all feature some sort of being that become human for just one day. I adored Ian Tregillis' golem-robot love story, _The Mainspring of his Heart, the Shackles of his Soul_. Seanan McGuire's _Cinderella City_ is a love story to San Francisco, and has some a lovely magic of a place. Quite a change from her shambling zombies! David D. Levine's _Into the Nth Dimension_ pulls a fun change-up, making me look at things in a different way (I'm avoiding a spoiler here), and works in a lo ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A varied mix of short stories (and these are short, despite the tendency of some anthologies to include mini-novellas) from authors such as Tanith Lee, Jody Lynn Nye, Jay Lake. Each story portrays one being who gets the chance to be human for a short time, whether by choice or misadventure. Some revel in it, enjoying every second, while some are horrified and can't wait to get back. There was only one I didn't read, and one I didn't like - pretty good for this sort of anthology - and a few autho ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2012
There were only a few stories that were worthwhile in this collection, but I would definitely recommend:

The Mainspring of His Heart, The Shackles of His Soul - Ian Tregellis
Cinderella City - Seanan McGuire
The Dog-Catcher's Song - Tanith Lee
The Destroyer - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I suppose looking back through the stories there were more I enjoyed than didn't, but I found some stories like The Blade of His Plow and The Very Next Day that I found cliched and trite. And then there were some in betwee
Alisa Hedden
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection examines what it means to be human, with all the hope and heartbreak this entails.
From robot slavery (complete with an underground railroad) to how do you spend your final hours when trapped and you know you will die?
Like any really good story, these take the basic premise and expand upon the theme.
This volume is filled with tales that manage to take the step further.
Martin H. Greenburg will be sorely missed, this anthology adds to an impressive legacy.
© Night Owl Reviews
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Mira Grant's blog ... I think
A pretty good anthology. I only skipped one of the stories because it wasn't grabbing me. I think Jody-Lynn Nye's was the one that grabbed me the most. Could have been cloying and twee but managed not to be. I also liked the Seanan McGuire, David Levine, and Ian Tregillis stories.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies
Highlights were "Cinderella City" by Seanan McGuire, "The Dog-Catcher's Song" by Tanith Lee, "Mortal Mix-Up" by Laura Resnick, "Into the Nth Dimension" by David D. Levine, and "Epilogue" by Jim C. Hines. Though honestly, I just don't think I'm an anthology reader.
Erik de Bie
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote a story in this, so I won't remark on that, but the others in here--particularly Jim Hines's piece, which is my favorite--are not to be missed. I think they really get at the heart of what it is to be human: how precious and terrifying that really is.
Jennifer Brozek
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
As the editor of this anthology, I am proud of it and believe it is an excellent book.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly for an anthology, all but one of the stories was outstanding. Excellently imaginative.
A few really good stories, but a number that didn't appeal or were just not that engaging. I liked the premise for the anthology.
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't appreciate invented words and cuss words in books.
Too bad, the idea has potential but keep it real.
J.M. Klees
Reading about the living personification of San Francisco was a bit trippy
Steve Smoot
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than most UF short story collections, not as good as a Zelazny collection. Did get a bit tired of the theme by the end.
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.

For the 1950s anthologist and publisher of Gnome Press, see Martin Greenberg.
More about Martin H. Greenberg...

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