Thursday, February 28, 2013
Eleven Impossible to Ignore Stories
Well, once again I have Carl to thank for getting me to pull a book out of my TBR (this time for The 2013 Science Fiction Experience) that I ended up loving. This book has eleven stories, three of which were Hugo and/or Nebula award winners. But, if you ask me, these stories are all winners.
A couple of years ago, I started to keep a short story journal that simply lists the names of the stories and a 1-5 rating (5 being love). This is mainly just because I am terrible with remembering story names and it saves me time when I want to find a story I know I enjoyed before. Well, most anthologies have one or two DNFs, a couple of ones and twos and then mostly threes and fours with one or two exceptional fives. This collection, as recorded in my journal, has no stories below a three. It broke down like this
3: "In the Late Cretaceous"
3+: "Schwarzschild Radius", "Chance"
4: "The Last of the Winnebagos" (with a possible +), "Even the Queen", "Winter's Tale", "At the Rialto"
4+: "Time Out", "Jack"
5: "Ado", "Spice Pogrom"
Every one of these stories drew me in. They are all well-crafted and I enjoyed the broad range of subjects that she presented -- from quantum physics to menstruation. "Jack" was probably my favorite story to read as it was set during the Blitz and I think she just does a fantastic job every time she writes in that time period. The story didn't get a five though because I thought one tiny aspect of it was a bit cheesy. (If anyone is familiar with the story, I would love to chat about it!) "Ado" and "Spice Pogrom" were comedies and I thought they were hilarious. "Spice Pogrom" was probably really a 4/4+ story but I had so much fun reading it that I gave it full marks. Some of the reviewers on LibraryThing really didn't like her sense of humor (and yet they claimed to have loved To Say Nothing of the Dog -- go figure!) but I really enjoyed it. I think I do best with science fiction when there's an element of humor involved, like with Douglas Adams and Jasper Fforde.
It sounds like some of these stories will be in her newest collection (out in early July)--"At the Rialto", "The Last of the Winnebagos" and "Even the Queen"--but not my favorites so it's still worth looking for this older collection if you're in the mood for some fantastic tales.
Imagining eleven impossible things,