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Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Miner. Harvester. Mechanic. Sanitation Worker. These are not the typical careers of your average science fiction protagonist. Until now.

MENIAL: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction presents seventeen stories about the people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

From the literal guts of a spaceship, to the energy-starved lands of a future Earth, to the inhospitable surfac
Paperback, 146 pages
Published January 21st 2013 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reviewing an anthology is always a bit more difficult than reviewing a novel. So is rating it. Does one poor story deserve to bring down the entire anthology? Should I mention every single story?

I gave this anthology a 5-star rating. I do not do this because every single story blew me away; they didn't, although I don't remember any story that I loathed, which is impressive in its own right. Partly I was predisposed to being impressed by the anthology because of the theme: the menial. That is, n
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Most science fiction stories are bout tall, square-jawed adventurers exploring the galaxy and singlehandedly vanquishing the alien foe. What about the people who perform the unexciting "blue collar" jobs that make the voyages possible?

A being, of indeterminate gender, maintains a ship's waste treatment system. A female asteroid miner has a unique companion. It is an alien-constructed being, made from human sperm. It looks exactly like a human, but, on the inside, there is no mind or personality.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! I don't normally care for books of short stories but I must say that each and every one of these stories were highly entertaining. I recommend reading Menial. I look forward to more works from these authors.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of my favorite collection of short stories that I've ever read. Kelly Jennings, Shay Darrach, and the various authors who contributed to this book really hit their goal of portraying exploring the not so typical careers of your average science fiction protagonist. Some of my favorite short stories from this include, Diamond in the Rough by A.J. Fitzwater, Sarah 87 by Camille Alexa, The Didibug Pin by Barbara Krasnoff, and The Heart of the Union by Dany G. Zuwen.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked this because it was about unusual jobs in Science Fiction and I was glad I had done so. There were some really good stories in there. Unfortunately one or two I didn't like, but that was more because of my taste than that there was anything actually wrong with the stories. Overall there is a nice diversity of stories and anyone who enjoys short Science Fiction stories should at least give it a try.
Victoria Lee
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology. The stories were diverse, in unique locales, and the main characters in each story are not your normal protagonists.
Matt Cowens
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant collection with a diverse range of characters, styles etc. Highly enjoyable!
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel the need to explain the rating, just a bit:

1) I adore the concept of the anthology. It's a fantastic concept that I hope inspires more stories in this vein. Hell, if I'd known when the submission period was, I know an SF writer I would've demanded submit to this. Maybe there will be a volume two!

2) But like all anthologies, not every story is a home run for the reader. And there were a few diamonds in the rough for me as a reader, most of the stories simply did not work for me. Sometimes
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this collection of science fiction stories with main characters who work in skilled labor. Science fiction is often told from the perspectives of white, male people in power or heroes. These stories were more real, because when space travel and living becomes more viable more workers will be needed in that new frontier. Thanks for telling the stories of those who are often forgotten or shadowed, but who build the cities and buildings and places we live in.
Tyrannosaurus regina
With so many of these stories I was ready to go all in, the characters were really great and the settings were intriguing, and then they were over and I wished there were more story. Not in length but in depths and complexity; there is so much potential richness here, and I would have loved to see it explored more.
Some good little stories in this anthology. While some left you scratching your head in confusion ... what, exactly? -- most of them were lovely little insights into the workers of mining operations, stations, the people who kept things going.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Some stories were stronger than others, but all-in-all, I was left wanting more. As in, write more.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing

if you want your imagination run wild read this book.
Kent Archie
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting variety of stories but many of them felt like they just stopped, rather than ended.
The hero discovers the truth about her position and goes off to fix things and that's were it stops.
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Paul Mannering
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Nov 27, 2012
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Michelle Muenzler
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Dany Zuwen
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: written-by-me
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Jan 30, 2013
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