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Stepping Stone and Love Machine: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion
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Stepping Stone and Love Machine: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  174 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Walter Mosley's talent knows no bounds. Stepping Stone and Love Machine are but two of six fragments in the Crosstown to Oblivion short novels in which Mosley entertainingly explores life's cosmic questions. From life's meaning to the nature of good and evil, these tales take us on speculative journeys beyond the reality we have come to know. In each tale someone in our wo ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Tor Books (first published April 1st 2013)
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Owain Lewis
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'd heard good things about Mosley, from friends and mentions by writers whose work I dig but I have to say I found this pretty disappointing. For a start, marketing it as two short novels is a bit misleading to say the least. The size of the page margins and line spacing mean that what you get is two longish stories; one has to wonder whether all three Uptown duos would have fit into a single book. I wouldn't have minded this had the content been better. Both stories start well, the prose is cr ...more
Carla
Jul 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I specifically downloaded short story audio books for a long drive. I used Overdrive and had few options of books that I hadn't already read or heard. I've heard of Walter Mosely, and have in fact several books of his on my TBR list, but haven't read anything yet. I was expecting some type of private eye or mystery and what I got was science fiction. That in itself isn't bad, but these stories were awful! Can't remember who the narrator was, but he was very robotic. Worse yet, I was stuck in a c ...more
Carolyn
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: never-finished
I read one of the two novellas (stepping stone), and while it was well-written, I found its development disappointing. I prefer a mystery that has an interesting/clever explanation - it can be fantasy, but I want it to make sense on some level, to have some deeper meaning. This story made me feel like he just made stuff up and it didn't fit together into any sort of pattern or structure. Sometimes Neil Gaiman does this, but I think he does it so well that I could still enjoy it. Same with Stephe ...more
Harley
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the last two months I have listened to four science fiction novellas by Walter Mosley. Three of these novellas involve a middle-aged black man in a dead end job. He is chosen by aliens to help them change the nature of the world and human beings. In the fourth novella, Love Machine, a dying black man is a mad scientist, but the lead character is a young Asian woman. Again, the plot involves altering the nature of human beings. Mosley has a fascinating imagination and I have enjoyed all four n ...more
Stewart
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
When Walter Mosley does sci fi, he does it weird, sometimes unreadably so. These tales just didn't do it for me. Stepping Stone started off very strong, but then got so far out there that I was glad when it abruptly ended. Love Machine was fairly dull from start to finish. I should just stick to his mysteries.

Not recommended.
Jack
Jul 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Hm. Nup.
Kevin
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I never know what to expect when I open a non-traditional Walter Mosley book. These two tales were fascinating and well-written...as always.
Drew VanKrevelen
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure, I only read the first of two half books so this review is only about Stepping Stone. It started out well as I got to know Truman Pope, a simple, unassuming man who worked hard, kept his head down, and made some loyal friends. Most of the story followed this path and was an enjoyable read. But toward the end it suddenly devolved into a dark, confusing nightmare with seemingly no connection to the rest of the book. I’d say the first part was a 4/5 but the ridiculous ending wasn’t ...more
Tiffany
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Confusing, but irresistible.
Fred P
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Walter Mosley writes from the African American experience, but his novels follow a traditional science fiction plotline. The hero is a normal, working man or woman, who discovers that he or she has a hidden talent and / or supernatural ally. The hidden talents of our heroes are revealed as well as a prophetic destiny for the characters. Will the system bring them down, or will they change the world? Mixing telepathy, genetics, clairvoyance and otherworldly aliens, Mosley provides us with complex ...more
Dave B.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed all of Mosley's Crosstown to Oblivion short stories. I thought Stepping Stone was better than Love Machine. All the short stories have a similar theme. They generally center on a characters that have very little status in society. This person becomes pivotal in a significant change to humanity while humanity violently fights back. This is a story told often, the real difference here is the main character is a minority (generally African American). I hope these short stories will be re- ...more
Troy
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, wmosley
This isn't a bad book, just that I don't know if this can GET right. Mosley writes characters you empathize with and want to know more about, and is the master at that. But when he ventures off into scifi territory, theresults can be absolute mush, in terms of story, or they can be...well, middling. This is the latter.

I appreciate him taking his hand to do scifi and branch out - cant get stagnant - but I just don't feel any of his scifi efforts. Something's missing? Can't put mmy finger on it.
...more
Algot Runeman
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Love Machine
Lois becomes the hub of the Co-Mind through the capabilities of a machine created by a genius who grew up autistic. A benevolent world domination is the goal. A short novel.
Recommended

Stepping Stone
Working in a mail room for twenty years and visiting his aunt three times a week is the life of Truman Pope. In this short fantasy novel, we find out True is much more than a black man who everyone thought was retarded when he was in school.
Recommended
Scott
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm with many of the other reviewers on here. Stepping Stone was a very interesting story and handled well. It suited the themes and tone of the rest of the stories in this series. Love Machine on the other hand felt hurried and ham fisted comparatively. I just couldn't get into it as well as the others and only skimmed through, looking for a hook. Sadly, it wasn't found.
Walt Trizna
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A treasure of a find.
Walter Mosley, in addition to being a fantastic mystery writer, writes great science fiction.
Love Machine is a fantastic ride to a new world order and nothing you would expect from the title.
Stepping Stone has a special needs adult with a universal purpose, literaly.
A most enjoyable read.
Nadine A.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not a fan of most science fiction novels or stories but I thought I would read this book anyway. Not only did I not like either story, I thought the end of Stepping Stone was either lazy writing or bad editing. Love Machine and the repeated mention of world domination made me think too much about the cartoons I use to watch with my son when he was a child for me to enjoy the story.
Denise
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars - enjoyed the first story "Stepping Stones" but not the send so abandoned.
A fan of the Leonid McGill series from Walter Mosley this was an interesting change. The character Troy was so clearly defined I believed that I knew him.

Read for yourself and decide.

DD@Phila
Pd Nixon
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Love Machine is the first Walter Mosley book that I've read that I can say I didn't really like. He tried something a little different with the Crosstown to Oblivion series of short novels, and I thought he was successful with 5 of the 6 tales. For me, Love Machine misses the mark.
Jerry Walz
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not the usual Mosley. More paranormal and science fiction. Very good!
Gerry
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad, but I expect so much more from Walter Mosley. I really enjoyed both of these stories but found the endings confusing and disappointing.
Geoff. Lamb
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stepping Stone - 5 stars - a tour de force

Love Machine - 1 star
M. Dixon
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Both these novellas were entertaining and enjoyable reads. Short and sweet.
Mariana
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Now I've read all six novellas from Crosstown to Oblivion. These two explore our connections to other people and to evil.
Nascha
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2014
R.
rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2013
Jim Richards
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2012
Dick
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2014
Wilbur Day
rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2014
Holly
rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2018
Susan Sebanc
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2014
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Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...more

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