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Reviews: Various Short Stories

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Book Reviews, Reading | Posted on 24-04-2010

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I just finished reading a bunch of different short stories that have been lurking in various programs on my iTouch. While they are reviewed in separate entries on GoodReads, I'm going to try to put the reviews in one blog post.

It's All In the Making It's All In the Making by Patricia Cirone

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Nice little story, although I'm not quite sure it would have made the cut for Sword & Sorceress when Marion Zimmer Bradley was at the helm. Still, an enjoyable read, and I wouldn't mind seeing more from Cirone.

Parking Space Vigilantes by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I'm still trying to figure out why this story was even put out there. As a soapbox piece? It doesn't work as a revenge or power fantasy, really, and that may be part of what left me unhappy with it. Most of what I read from Gilman is fantasy, and this piece was set in the present day with absolutely no fantasy or science fiction bits at all (other than the idea that any law enforcement agency would permit volunteers to write tickets for parking violations, which I simply cannot imagine.)

The story isn't badly written at all, which is why I'm giving it two stars. It just wasn't satisfying to me.

Overrush by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellent story. Gilman doesn't tell us where it comes in the overall chronology, but I think it should be placed relatively early in the series. You certainly won't miss anything for not having read it, but it is a nice little piece. I intend to seek out the other two short stories mentioned on her site as being set in the Retrievers universe, "Palimpsest" and "Illumination." (Or perhaps "Illumination" is the one I already read? I'll know soon enough.) I'm hoping that they'll help tide me over 'til Hard Magic is released.

Site Fourteen by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Very short story that begins with an interesting concept, but doesn't really go very far with it. The events of the story weren't explained to my satisfaction, so the piece felt like a tiny teaser that should have introduced something much larger that would have filled in the missing blanks. It is inadequate as it stands.

Sleepwork by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gilman did a very good job with the teenager's voice. The idea of a magical school for teens is a little worn at the moment, of course, but the dream lesson variation has only been done by one other author that I can think of off the top of my head. I'm not entirely sure that I bought into the preparation of that particular teen, but the story was entertaining nonetheless.

The Road Taken by Laura Anne Gilman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Not bad at all, but somehow, I was left wanting something more. I think I may stick to Gilman's novels in the future, and leave her short stories for others.

Familiar Territory by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A lovely story, especially sweet for anyone who has said goodbye to a longtime feline companion. I wish we'd been able to give our Shelley such a grand send-off!

Saving Face by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very nice resolution to an unusual situation. I love the way Rusch handled this story, showing beauty in an unorthodox manner.

Searching for the Familiar by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think this was my favorite of Rusch's three "Familiar" stories, which is saying a lot. It's incredibly sweet without being saccharine, a difficult balance.

The Retrieval Artist by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Apparently the beginning of the Retrieval Artist series, which I've been meaning to check out for some time now. The premise on which the series is based - that humans are doing business with other races, some of which have business practices that can drive humans to need to disappear to an extent never known before - is, well, interesting. I'm not sure that any other race would be quite as cruel to humans as we are to each other, honestly, and I've seen humans give each other more than enough reason to disappear quite thoroughly. Still, the writing was good, and the characters and plot were enjoyable. I do plan to find the novels and try one or two of them.

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Comments (4)

For the record, “Park­ing Space Vig­i­lantes” is not my sto­ry, I have nev­er writ­ten a sto­ry with title or premise. I will be check­ing up on why it was list­ed under my byline.

I wouldn’t have pur­chased it if it hadn’t been list­ed as being by an author I rec­og­nized, so I’d like to know the answer to that ques­tion too!

I’m curi­ous — did you actu­al­ly write the books about eco­nom­ics and cere­bral pal­sy that GoodReads cred­its to you? If not, I’ll update the sys­tem to show that there’s anoth­er per­son writ­ing under the name Lau­ra Anne Gilman.

Those, I wrote (I do non-fic­tion for teens and pre-teens, wear­ing my oth­er hat).

Aha! Thank you for clear­ing that up 🙂