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Reviews: Various Short Stories

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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