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Near + Far

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Two Complete Collections in one! Packaged like the old Ace doubles are Near, a collection of Rambo's science fiction stories set closer to home, Earth, etc. and Far, a collection of her science fiction tales set OUT there, far away, subtitled "Stories Of The Near Future and the Far" collecting stories which have appeared in Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, Abyss ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published September 19th 2012 by Hydra House (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Mark Pantoja
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't actually remember the first time I heard or read about Cat Rambo or one of her stories. I do remember the first time I saw her name and I was like: "Cat Rambo? Who the hell goes by 'Cat Rambo'?" Well, Cat does.

Cat Rambo's name has floated across books and anthologies and zines I've read for the last five years or so. Editor of Fantasy Magazine , fiction in Strange Horizons , Clarkesworld , Hyperpulp, Asimov's, and a shitload of anthologies. Her name is synonymous with speculative
...more
Stefan
Cat Rambo has published over a hundred science fiction and fantasy short stories to date, in places like Asimov’s, Weird Tales, and on Tor.com. The field of short genre fiction is quite crowded nowadays—which is wonderful, don’t get me wrong—but Cat Rambo’s name always jumps out at me whenever I see it in a Table of Contents. Sure, that’s partly because it’s just such a cool name, but much more because, after reading a few of her stories over the years, I was and still am captivated by her ...more
Sarah
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, sf
Two excellent collections under one binding. It's a clever conceit: one collection of near future SF, one collection of far future SF, bound back to back. Flip the book over for a whole second set of stories. The gimmick wouldn't be worth anything if the stories didn't hold up, so it's a good thing that they do. Cat Rambo's fiction runs the gamut from character-based to tech-based, with all of the stories grounded in her clear and lovely prose. Most of my favorites were on the Near side, ...more
Halsted M. Bernard
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the novelty of owning a tête-bêche double-anthology like Near + Far, so I opted for the physical version instead of an ebook. I do not regret my choice. Stories with the solidity of these require a physical manifestation. I would finish a story and then find myself carrying the volume around with the last sentences still in my eyes, unable to sever the connection. Rambo's stories show her deft hand with the intricacies of relationships and the vagaries of gender, but I was ...more
Dusty Wallace
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not every story is great, but most of the stories are brilliant. I find Cat at her most entertaining when using a traditional narrative rather than her experimental work. I also love the way she turns tropes on their heads or just eschews them completely. There's nothing about her work that feels unoriginal.

Whether you like her stories or not, you have to respect Cat Rambo's success. If you're trying to sell short stories to magazines you should be reading her work. You'd be doing yourself a
...more
Mieneke
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2013
Before reading Near+Far, I had only heard Cat Rambo's work in audio form as there have been numerous Escape Pod episodes featuring her stories. In fact, if after reading this review you are still wondering whether this collection is to your taste, I highly recommend listening to these stories. The ones from this collection available from Escape Pod are in chronological order: Kalakkak's Cousins , The Mermaids Singing, Each to Each , Angry Rose's Lament , and A Querulous Flute of Bone . ...more
Peter
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of short fiction by Cat Rambo. The stories are divided into two categories, the "Near" ones are set, as you might expect, in the Near Future, on Earth. The "Far" ones are set either in the more distant future or on other planets. In paperback, from what I understand, this is done in a novel way, where the book has a front cover on each side, and you turn the book over and turn it upside down to read the other story's collection, and either one could legitimately be ...more
Tracie McBride
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My review is based on the electronic review copy that Cat kindly forwarded to me, but I can’t help but mention the paperback. “Near + Far” comprises two distinct collections of stories compiled into one volume. Each volume has its own cover, and upon completion of one volume, you flip the book over to read the other. It’s a quirky little bonus for treebook aficionados, and reading about it in the book’s foreword makes me ever-so-slightly envious.
As mentioned, the two halves of the collection are
...more
Rebecca
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought Cat Rambo's short-story collection Near + Far in trade paperback rather than ebook form because I wanted to hold it in my hands. I was (and remain) enamored of the book's design: two sets of stories, set back to back like the much-loved old Ace Doubles, so that when you turn the book over you see a whole new book. And the satisfying heft of this edition lets you know that you are in for a substantial treat. The physical appeal of the book cover(s) and design do not mislead. This is an ...more
Wendy S. Delmater
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the dark and realistic future worlds of veteran science fiction writer Cat Rambo. Two of the stories in this double collection were originally published in Abyss & Apex so when it came out we asked to look at it. We were not disappointed. Buy this and you’ll get a lot of fiction for your dollar, too. Rambo explores the loss, anger, ambiguity and heartbreak of a rapidly changing world.

The Near collection is first.

“Close Your Eyes” was particularly effective, giving the readers two
...more
Emily
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Beyond the physical awesomeness of this book, Cat Rambo's stories are amazing. From evil mermaids to living coats and far, far beyond, these stories cover a wide range. There are only two drawbacks: 1) not being sure how to handle having two bookmarks, and 2) always having Grover's voice in my head when I think of the book's title(s).
Kirsty
Sep 24, 2012 marked it as to-read
Cat Rambo's story 'The Mermaids Singing Each to Each' is one of my all-time favourites –can't wait to read this collection! ...more
Shaz
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
I got this as part of the Women in Science Fiction bundle and was interested in reading more of Cat Rambo's work. It rather confirms me in my opinion that Rambo's fiction is quite weird and usually not very comforting. This collection makes for quite interesting reading. I had only read one of the stories previously. The collection is broken into two groups of "near" and "+ Far" (Surprise!) and the stories I liked better were mostly in the latter group. From Near, I quite enjoyed Peaches of ...more
Celine
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Some good stories, some okay stories. Took a long time to read and, because of the format, it was hard to get attached. I liked the afterword.
Quinn Barbuta
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some very quirky and interesting short stories.
T.S.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Most reviews of Cat Rambo’s beautiful anthology have spent a lot of time examining the unique and compelling quality of the layout and physicality of the book. True, it is necessary to note the down right “cool” format of the collection: the double-sided covers that, with a flip of the book, brings the reader to the other collection. There are echoes of classic Sci-Fi novels with visionary depictions of red planets and solitary spaceships careening out into universes unknown. Rambo’s Near + Far ...more
Shel
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The difficulty with this review will be not to gush too much...well-told short stories are potent magic and Cat Rambo's a magician.

If you have an affinity for speculative works, fantasy with sorcerers and mermaids, science fiction with new gizmos, other worlds and aliens, this collection will enchant.

Perhaps it's time to go on a short story binge. If you appreciate short stories by Aimee Bender, Ryan Boudinot, Joyce Carol Oates, Karen Joy Fowler, Carol Emshwiller, Octavia Butler, Rebecca Brown
...more
Frances
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I recently reread this one, and was surprised to find out how short many of the stories were; they're rich with emotional weight, and I keep being surprised at how neatly they're written, and how evocative they manage to be without sprawling.

The book's actually a flip book. You read it through to the halfway point, getting your stories of the near future (superheroes, live fur coats, a talking cat, salvage among mermaids), and then you turn it over and read the other half, stories of the far
...more
Mathew Walls
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Consistently good. A lot of short story collections are pretty up and down, but the worst I can say about any of these is that they didn't grab me as much as some of the others. I particularly enjoyed Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut, Vocobox, Kallakak's Cousins, Surrogates and Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain, but they're really all good, except maybe 10 New Metaphors for Cyberspace, which reads more like a McSweeney's article than a short story.

This is the best sort of sci-fi, where the
...more
Paul Hancock
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, storybundle
A nice collection of short stories. There were some really excellent stories in here, but also a few that i didn't like at all. I'm not going to pick apart each story but in general i enjoyed the far future stories a lot more than the near future. From this collection I think i have enough of a feel for Cat Rambos writing to say that I'll look out for her work in the future.
Thalarctos
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are several stories here that made me think, that stretched my mind, while still managing to be readable. Some science fiction short stories these days seem to think they have to barely qualify as English in order to be cerebral enough to exist. These are smart, interesting stories. I recommend this book.
Krista McCracken
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good collection of sci-fi short stories. I didn't love every story but there were some gems in this collection. A few of my favourite involved robotic cats, cats with artificial intelligence, and a clone factory. I also liked that following each story there was a short write-up of the author's inspiration, thoughts behind the story, and connections between pieces of writing.
Mitchell
Odd collection of short stories I read for the Endeavour Award. Actually pretty good but nothing that really connected for me. Lots of relationship stories with odd twists and almost a horror spin to it. But definitely not like anything I've read.
Joy
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lovely clutch of stories that run the gamut from poignant to quite creepy.
Edwin Downward
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fasten your five point harness and tighten your helmet strap because you're in for a wild ride.
Peter Tillman
Not in BG system
Django Wexler
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
These are some really good stories. I kept thinking, "Okay, THIS one is my favorite," only to be proven wrong a few pages later. Highly recommended.
morbidflight
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great selection of short stories and other writing. Take two with water before bed every night, and you'll see strange lands and familiar faces.
Ross Presser
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun stuff. Good brain candy.
Jetamors
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
My favorite story from this collection was "Ms. Liberty Gets A Haircut"
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F&SF writer Cat Rambo lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. She has been shortlisted for an Endeavour Award, Locus Award, World Fantasy Award and most recently the Nebula Award. Her debut novel, BEASTS OF TABAT, appeared in 2015 from WordFire Press, the same year she co-edited AD ASTRA: THE SFWA 50TH ANNIVERSARY COOKBOOK. Forthcoming books include EXILES OF TABAT (novel, Wordfire Press) ...more
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