dsull's review

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kellyd's review

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I had never really read much science fiction before this, much less enjoyed short stories. I guess I've always imagined the genre as the stereotype: the cold, hard-calculated science that I couldn't possibly comprehend. Instead, I found that there is variety, soft and hard, some dealing with music, some with loneliness, etc. This book has a good selection of stories that has made me want to dive further into science fiction. I had to read a few stories out of this for class: I ended up reading the WHOLE thing. What does that tell you?

Call Me Joe- A story of a disabled man who finds freedom telepathically living through this other guy while on an experiment on Jupiter. A good story, however, I did not find it as captivating and insightful as some of the others and maybe not the best choice for the first story of this selection. 6.5/10

"All You Zombies --"- This story involves time travel. The little you know the better (or perhaps that might just be my justification since it is mind-blowingly complex and I can't say even I completely understand it). 7.5/10

Tunesmith- A story that combines music and science and emotion. An interesting story, but perhaps I need to reread it to feel the full effect. 6/10

*A Saucer of Loneliness- A must read. Minimal science fiction elements means that most anyone can pick this up and enjoy. Very powerful message and definitely resonated with me in the end. 9/10

*Robot Dreams- What do you know? Apparently, Asimov and this story helped inspired the movie I, Robot. Short, thought-provoking story. 8/10

Devolution- A story about aliens and the beginning of humanity. Not quite as powerful as I would have hoped. 6.5/10

The Nine Billion Names of God- The title says a great deal. Essentially, the story is about these monks that believe once they find all of the names of God the world will end. I was not fond of this story; it simply didn't hold anything for me in plot or message. 3.5/10

A Work of Art- The twist at the end was interesting but the story was a little hard to get through. Ironically, this was not due to the science elements but due to the music elements. 6.5/10

*Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed- A story of a family adjusting to life on Mars. Very fascinating. 8/10

*"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman- an odd story to be sure with a dystopian feel mixed in with children storytelling elements, it's an entertaining read to say the least. 7.5/10

Eurema's Dam- I felt the story started off with potential but I didn't quite get the ending. Truly, I didn't remember the story for this little review and had to look at it in the book again. 5/10

Passengers- A story about alien(s) or forces called "Passengers" that "ride" humans for a few days making them due odd and embarrassing things. An interesting premise, an interesting world-building, I felt the plot twist at the end cut it short from what I wanted to see in it. 7/10

*The Tunnel under the World- Twist after twist after twist. I think it might be better going into this one blind. 8.5/10

Who Can Replace a Man?- A story about robots and what they decide to do when they think mankind is over. Again, another ending that I felt left me unsatisfied. It was going well until then. 6/10

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas- The ending...good, good. I won't spoil it here but even though the story has a lot of the happy fantasy at first it does go further, darker. 6.5/10

*Inconstant Moon- What would you do if you thought this was your last night? What if the world restarted? Kept me going, kept me thinking. 8/10

*Sandkings- George, George, George. This story was fucking creepy. I wonder about him sometimes. Where do his Sandkings hide? Insert evil hand gesture here. 9.5/10

The Road Not Taken- A story about space bears. Very interesting. 7/10

Dogfight- It took me two tries to get through this one. The world building is interesting but the flight simulations/fights didn't interest me and therefore, bogged down the story. Also, with the ending, I simply don't like characters that make the douchey move and then want pity. 6/10

Face Value- Interesting, but not one of my favorites. A story of a human couple studying on a different planet these humanoid creatures with useless wings that have a design of human faces. Creepy. 6.5/10

Pots- A story about a cloned man who finds out about a conspiracy. Not as interesting as it sounds. This one had a hard time keeping my attention and I didn't feel like keeping with it paid out. 4/10

*Snow- A man who deals with the death of his wife with this technology that can glimpse random moments in her life. I really loved this story. 9/10

Rat- A story about a rat drug-dealer and a drug called "Dust". I liked the idea of this new drug but everything else was kind of a flop for me. 2/10

Bears Discover Fire- The title is the story. I read the story. Still haven't gotten more out of it than just what the title says... 2/10

A Clean Escape- Fancy little story, this. I liked it. Kept you guessing. I don't think I can really say much without giving something away. So...I'll say nothing. Ha! 7.5/10

Tourists- Not the best story. It's about a tourist who loses the person he was with and all of his belongings and slowly seeps into this country that he doesn't know. Didn't really care for this one. 4/10

One- A story about a couple that go into space searching for life. A bit bland and the grandness of the ending's message just doesn't match with the little feeling I got out of it. 5/10

Overall, I guess you could say this is a great introduction to the world of short story science fiction because it definitely was for me.

rafalreadersinitiative's review

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Zbiór opowiadań arcymistrzów science-fiction, choć niekoniecznie "arcydzieł", zarówno gatunku, jak i dorobku poszczególnych pisarzy. "Selekcjoner" podszedł do sprawy dość subiektywnie i posłużył się kluczem doboru raczej mniej powszechnie znanych - ale, zważywszy na nagrody, jakimi je obsypano, uznanych - krótkich form mistrzów fantastyki naukowej. Oczywiście, gusta pozostają gustami, ale w kilku przypadkach do zaszczytnego miana arcydzieł, niektórym z zamieszczonych tu opowiadań, co nieco, brakuje. Owszem, są to bez wyjątku rzeczy dobre, bardzo dobre, świetne, czy wręcz znakomite, ale ciężko tu doszukać się czegoś, co pozostawiłoby czytelnika z uczuciem obcowania z czymś bezapelacyjnie wielkim, czy wręcz można by uznać to za kamień milowy w historii gatunku.

Zbiór jednakowo jest o tyleż dobry, że początkującemu i poszukującemu miłośnikowi science-fiction, może wskazać autorów, których czytać trzeba i należy, chociaż - każdy kij ma dwa końca - w wielu przypadkach, niestety, ilość ich dzieł, dostępna i przetłumaczona na nasz język ojczysty, jest, delikatnie rzecz ujmując, bardzo uboga (zwłaszcza, jeśli chodzi o nazwiska z części książki, prezentującej twórców tzw. Nowej Fali).

Podsumowując, bardzo dobry zbiorek, z opowiadaniami - które warto przeczytać - twórców, do nieznajomości których, po prostu lepiej się w kulturalnym towarzystwie nie przyznawać. Poza tym dużo nostalgii, wywołanej z obcowaniem ze "starym, dobrym, science-fiction". A czy te "Arcydzieła..." to naprawdę arcydzieła? Cóż, nie wszystkie...