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Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies

(The Machineries of Empire “The Chameleon’s Gloves”)

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A collection of original, epic science fiction stories by some of today’s best writers—for fans who want a little less science and a lot more action—and edited by two-time Hugo Award winner John Joseph Adams.

Inspired by movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, this anthology features brand-new stories from some of science fiction’s best authors including Dan
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Saga Press
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Justine
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
Overall this was just an OK collection for me. There were more stories that I didn't much care for than those I did. The ones I liked best were The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts; and The Chameleon's Gloves.

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime by Charlie Jane Anders - This was OK, but I'm not really a fan of humorous or zany satirical SF.

Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance by Tobias S. Bucknell - This one I quite liked. A maintenance robot goes toe to toe with a snobby
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Lindsay
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful anthology of science fiction and fantasy with a view towards the widest scopes. It's not all on a cosmic space or time scope, but it's definitely all playing to the theme. There's a wide range in tone as well, with some being very hard science fiction, a couple of laugh-out-loud funny stories and a few that are touching and sweet.

As with all anthologies, the quality is somewhat uneven and naturally subjective, but there were only a few stories I really didn't care for and some of th
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Amanda
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like all collections/anthologies this one has some winners and some losers but the good far outweighs the bad in this collection of stories from some very talented writers!
Paul
Some good stories but overall a bit underwhelming. 18 stories with a combined rating of 55 stars out of a possible 90 gave the average rating a 3.05. The following is the stories ranked from most liked to least liked:

Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance by Tobias S Buckell - 5 Stars - Exquisite world building
A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime by Charlie Jane Anders - 5 Stars - Hilarious

Unfamiliar Gods by Adam Troy Castro & Judi B. Castro - 4 Stars - Hilarious and Unforgettable
The Deck
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Peter Tillman
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peter by: Random grab off the new-book shelf, SBPL
Interesting anthology of new stories. I liked some more than others. Overall, 3.3 stars?

For me, the standouts are:
* “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” by Tobias S. Buckell. Classic biter-bit tale, in a posthuman, post space-war setting. With one nasty throwback onscreen. 4.5 stars, tasty stuff. Also available online at http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic...

* "The Chameleon's Gloves" by Yoon Ha Lee. An interrupted art-heist becomes a mission to save-the-universe from a prototype superwea
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Lis Carey
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is just one kickass good anthology. Go buy a copy in your preferred format now.

Okay, okay, you want to know more.

Every one of these stories is, as advertised, far-future, galaxy-spanning, and involves people confronting huge problems caused by technology, in some cases so advanced as to be, as Arthur C. Clarke said, "indistinguishable from magic."

They vary wildly in tone, also.

Charlie Jan Anders' "A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime" is just really funny.

"The Chameleon's Gloves" by Yoon
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Acqua
Cosmic Powers is an anthology of sci-fi stories from 18 different authors; many of them were new to me.
I found it slightly disappointing: there were many stories I couldn't even get into; not all of them were necessarily bad, some were just really not my kind of sci-fi. On the other hand, the stories I was looking forward to were just as good as I expected.

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime by Charlie Jane Anders: ★ DNF
Charlie Jane Anders' writing really isn't for me, I already knew that bec
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Kate
Jun 13, 2018 added it
Ok, so I didn’t technically read all the stories. Which is silly, because I was really enjoying them, but it was due back at the library, and couldn’t be renewed, and I dunno, there’s so many other books to read! And I’d read the Becky Chambers story that has prompted me to get in the first place! That said, I enjoyed what I read very much, and if my path crosses it again I’ll finish it!
Bonnie McDaniel
John Joseph Adams pretty much has the golden touch as an editor. I own several of his anthologies, and they've consistently been among the better SFF collections out there. This book definitely follows in that tradition. Some of these stories are outrageously over-the-top (in keeping with the bright, eye-watering cover art), but that is part of the theme, and the charm, of this book.

The standout story in this anthology, so far, seems to be "Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance," Tobias S. Bu
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a hooded figure from your friendly neighbourhood dog park
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Charlotte
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Space Opera. How did I not realize this was a distinct sub genre of science fiction? Consider me stumped but oh so very pleased. According to Wikipedia... “Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking.” Heck yes.

Space adventures. Space opera. Science fiction. Whatever you call it, this collection of short stories has been an absolute joy and refreshing escape. All the more necessary
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Jon
LCL Summer Reading Challenge "Read a book published this year"
Kathleen
I picked this anthology up for the Seannan McGuire and Becky Chambers stories, both of which are well worth reading. In point of fact, they are not the only gems in this collection, which has quite a few stellar stories. Unfortunately, there are also a number of tales that just made me tune out. They were a little too epic and somehow failed to be interesting. Or they just weren't my style. Still, it's a set of short stories, so there's no harm in putting the book down for a week or two before r ...more
Rita
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favorite stories:

P. 55 Zen and the art of starship maintenance: this story is about a "robot" who is used by a biological form, who knows the 3 laws of robotics, to force it to save its life. 3 🌟

P. 70 The Deckhand Etc: This story is by Becky Chambers who wrote Long Way to an Angry Planet. it's about an orphan who is A deckhand on a ship. Nobody likes her; she lost her best friend at the same time that she lost her parents. She likes to smoke weed in the chapel and she keeps a log that's halfw
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mercutio
This book was a mixed bag, but that mix was generally excellent- I enjoyed something from every story. I think the issue I encountered most often is that science fiction doesn’t lend itself to the short story format when you try to shoehorn in too much lore or information- you can’t worldbuild your robotic space odyssey as deeply in a short story as you would in a novel. That being said I think these stories were mostly balanced and interesting. Some stories, though I would give them only 3/4 st ...more
Becki
- Charlie Jane Anders, 'A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime' (3.5/5)

What an odd but fun story. It's the kind I'd like to read more of (as a novel) to really get into the characters and world.

- Tobias S. Buckell, 'Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance' (3/5)

I struggled to get into this one, after a few attempts. While I don't necessarily understand everything, I could picture what was happening. Interesting. (The writing is so much like my brother's haha.)

- Becky Chambers, 'The Deckhand, th
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Mark Vayngrib
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
still reading, but so far, 3.5 stars

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime - 2.5 stars
zany and hilarious at first, exhaustingly tedious in the middle, and something probably happens at the end

Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance - 3.5 stars
well written and engaging. More space opera like this please

The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts - 2 stars
engaging enough, but literally nothing happens in front of the camera

The Sighted Watchmaker - 2.5 stars
not bad, but the magic trick
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Bridget Mckinney
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
The new John Joseph Adams-edited anthology, Cosmic Powers, is the first great anthology of the year, jam-packed with smart, entertaining sci-fi adventure stories that bring a nicely modern sensibility to old ideas and tropes. There are several recurring themes throughout the anthology. Religion figures largely in many of these stories, and several of the stories deal with gods or with beings who have amassed nearly godlike power with the aid of time and technology. Artificial intelligences of va ...more
Morgan
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this anthology because it included one of my favorite stories from last year "Infinite Love Engine," by Joseph Allen Hill. Cosmic Powers, as seen in this collection, is a bit of tricky beast to classify. It's one part space opera, one part comic book, and generally a lot more concerned with dramatic action and character tension than the accuracy of the science. In another era this might be termed "Planetary Romance," or something like that but really it's just a lot of fun. To be cle ...more
Charles
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A diverse bag of talent, I got the book mainly for Becky Chambers's story (and hers alone was worth it) but was pleasantly surprised with some other real gems. I found the stories by Becky Chambers, Dan Abnett, Kameron Hurley, Charlie Jane Anders and Jack Campbell are the most memorable.

Other stories were good. A few were outright amateurish, stuck in the folly of having ambiguous voices speaking in abstractions about unknown nouns and events.

Overall though a good collection of the current scen
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Rachel
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
These are all set in the far future, on other planets/ships/structures, barely a mention of Earth. Predictably, the ones I liked best were by authors who were already favorites: Charlie Jane Anders (hilarious), Becky Chambers, Alan Dean Foster, Seanan McGuire (yes doing interstellar kind-of-space opera complete with jewel thieves!), and Linda Nagata. All the others were nicely done too, though a few were not to my taste.
Jon
A very enjoyable anthology where I thought all of the stories merited at least three stars and most were of the four star variety. My favorites were probably Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance by Tobias S. Buckell and Tomorrow When We See the Sun by A. Merc Rustad but there were several more that were just as good. This is the second anthology that I've read and enjoyed that was edited by John Joseph Adams so I'll look for more from him. Highly recommended!
John
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good story collection. I think only one or two stories are outright misses, and some are very good. My favorites were by Tobias Buckell, Becky Chambers, Caroline Yoachim, Linda Nagata, Yoon Ha Lee, and Dan Abnett.
Frank D
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very disappointing collection of stories particularly after reading The New Space Opera collection. I can’t believe any of these stories approach the various authors best work. Only Unfamiliar Gods brought a smile to me.
Abbott
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
it was alright, but some of the stories were so hard to follow!
Amy
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All great far-spanning stories. Some I had read before, previously published in Lightspeed. JJA, nice trick, collecting so many authors I like in one place!
Anne
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Becky Chambers short story, which was excellent. 4.5*

I don't have any interest in reading the others at this time.
Simon
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recent Reads: Cosmic Powers. John Joseph Adams collects excellent far future SF. Space opera with all the bells, whistles, and ray guns.
David Scrimshaw
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just a terrific collection of sci-fi.

Lots of authors on my must-read list already and now I have a few more.

If you're thinking that by the cover this might be your kind of thing, it is.
Randy French
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Haven't finished it yet but I an SO enjoying it! It's way out stuff & I love it,
Finished it!
Loved the book.
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (cons ...more

Other books in the series

The Machineries of Empire (3 books)
  • Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire #1)
  • Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire, #2)
  • Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3)