Springfield, MO, United States | Member Since 2010
I have listened to 22+ ours of this, so you don't have to. If you are a huge Science Fiction Fan like myself, then you think you must buy this. If you are willing to listen so long to get about four or five good hours of listening and learn a little bit, then go ahead, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have passed. I did find a couple of gems, but not enough to warrant treading through all the rest. Before I start let me say thank you to the bug eyed reviewer who listed the table of contents and in order, something Audible should have done.
I will take this section at a time.
Harlan Ellison's Introduction: Lofty Ambitions.
With the exception of the dig to modern editors such as Dozois, this seems like a good intro. It certainly gets you excited to listen to all 22 hours of the book. After listening you will be upset at being sold such a bill of goods. Ellison, also in his old age, should have learned by now how to praise a person without putting down another. He claims there has not been a good editor of science fiction since Groff Conklin. Groff Conklin was a great editor, especially for his time, the fifties. Gardner Dozois puts out an annual anthology of the best of Science Fiction and has now for over 30 years. In each book he summaries the year in Science Fiction. His summary covers the health of the previous sf year, book publishers, magazines (including actual numbers of magazines published, prices, addresses, web sites, etc...), semiprozines, online only magazines, original anthologies, fantasy anthologies, horror anthologies, novels, first novels, novella chapbooks, Novel omnibuses, out of print books that came back, short story collections, art, movies, television, list of all the award winners, obituary, and more. It goes on for pages and pages. If you are a science fiction nerd like myself, you read and absorb, if you just want good stories, you skip it and go on to an excellent collection of stories. The copyright of this book is 2004, so it may have been to early to recognize John Joseph Adams, who has been coming out with some really good original collections.
We are also told by Harlan that Rudnicki is the worlds greatest editor because he has read thousands of books and speaks various languages. I read and listen to hundreds of books a year, does that make me a candidate for a editor of an anthology? I know I could have come up with a more entertaining collection of material. This collection did not even include Gilgamesh, the worlds oldest book, and a very good book at that. I do not blame Rudnicki, although he did allow this to be published about him. Ellison has a history of mouthing off and he is always hot or cold, never between.
MYTHS WE LIVE BY
About nine entries, of which only one is good (Robert Silverberg's After the Myth). Two more are okay and the rest are painful to listen to.
MYTHS THAT BITE
About six entries, of which one is great (Barry Pain's, Dairy Of a God.), two okay, three painful.
About six entries, of which one is most excellent (Fritz Leiber's, A Pail of Air), one excerpt is good, four painful.
The best section, including works from Card, Asimov, Stoker, and Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. Although I don't see how Card's entry is a progenitor to anything. It is an excellent story, but does not keep with the theme of the collection.
REST IN PIECES
Starts with the Hearse song, which is hilarious, has an except from Revelations, which is extremely scary, a great old story by W.E.B Dubois, and a great story by Clarke. Mixed in are about six painful listens.
This starts with a pretty good piece by Bova. He basically defines what science fiction is. He does not like the term Sci-Fi and he hates Hollywood, probably cause they have never turned any of his hundreds of books into a movie, mostly cause they are not that good. I like some of his books and I know he is a scientist, but that does not mean he is a good writer. His characters are usually card board cut outs and he usually has a lot of dull spots. He says in his essay that science is often boring and he often proves that in his writings. Not sure why Rudnicki included this commentary as it goes totally against what he gives us, as most of his Science Fiction does not include any science. SR even comments that Dante's Inferno is as much science fiction as Verne or Clarke's work. I have read Inferno and I never noticed any science. It was good fantasy and it is an insult to Verne and Clarke to have their thoroughly researched writings be compared to Fantasy.
Do not miss Elliot Engel's biography on Edgar Allen Poe. It is a fascinating story and almost made listening for 22 hours worth it, almost.
I agreed with Card's commentary and I think I have heard him harp on it before. He is a great writer and he gets tired of academia looking down their noses at Science Fiction. He has mentioned before that if kids in school could read some good science fiction instead of the boring English Literature, they are forced to read now, they would be better readers as adults. This commentary did get a little technical.
Rudnicki does the majority of reading and the rest are professionals. There is one gravely voiced narrator I did not love, but that is a personal thing.
In the intro, MJS admits that he is not that great at writing short stories, but says he put more effort into this one having good character development and a good rounded story. He was correct and it was funny on top of that. If you don't know if you want to read the Chronicles, then start with this short story. If you like it I know you will like the books.
THE MAN WHO RIDES A TIGER, FINDS IT HARD TO DISMOUNT
Cruising the used book stores, I started coming upon these old series in paperback. I thought it might be cool to collect them. Like John Norman's Gor series. I picked up a couple of these with the half naked girls on the cover. I am finding out that there is a reason many of theses did not make it to hard back. They are bad writing. This is no exception. I found it to be very boring and Jim the Impatient will listen to NO boring book.
I do like George G. Gilman's Edge series (the most violent westerns ever printed). Maybe someday they will appear in audible.
This book doesn't even have a good cover, skip it.
I enjoyed this from start to finish. The first three chapters sound like closely related Mark Twain Stories, but then, what seems to be short stories, gels into a great western story. The characters are well developed and you take an invested interest in them. The whole thing is smartly written and very entertaining. This is only my second Joe ledger book or story, but I want more.
This was okay, but nothing to get all excited about. I am certainly glad it was free. I have read the first book in both of the series he has out right now and I like them and will continue the rest of those two series. I just believe MJS does better in the long form then he does in short form. It is free, so your only investment is 54 minutes and it is certainly worth that.
His pet was a man with his arms and legs cut off, eyes gauged out and tongue cut off.
This was the most disgusting, gory, violent, mindless, torture filled, intense, twisted book I have ever read. It was totally sick.
I loved it.
A SOCIAL WORKER CAN NOT SHOW WEAKNESS
This was released by audible on 10/10/12 and up to this point not one person had rated it, meaning no one had probably bought it. I had run into this author in used book stores in the Science Fiction section. This by the way is not Science Fiction, nor Modern Detective or suspense. I not sure were it fits. It is different. I am sure a lot of people think it is a sex book. It has a lot of sex in it, but it is not a sex book. I would consider it to be a satire on the sixties. I grew up at that time, although I was too young to enjoy all the free love that was going on, but I strongly remember educated people talking and acting like this girl. I found it to be humorous in that respect. It seems like the whole nation was going through it's teenage years in the sixties.
HER BEST FEATURE IS HER COMPASSION
This girl has a skewed view on how she can save society, by screwing her poor clients. Since she is a beautiful well educated woman, she is helping them to feel better about themselves, since they are able to screw such a beautiful smart woman. As the story goes on, we see that she is mostly making herself feel better. Often she is screwing married men and she does not understand when their wives don't understand. Once she thinks to herself, as she is screwing an ugly guy, that he will most likely dream about her as he plays with himself ten years down the road. Her father encourages her in her work and her screwing around. He is dropping out of society, but he does need her money. This dropping out of society was a big thing in the sixties. If you did not live through the sixties or are not interested in the sixties you may not like this. I think it is interesting to see what our society was going through.
HUMANS ARE MORE THAN THE NEED TO SURVIVE
If asked to choose between Ender's Game and this book as my favorite, I would have a problem. This is so brilliantly written, so engaging, so entertaining, that it is hard to choose. Ender's Game is about space and I am more Sci-fi then Fantasy, but Ender does have some dead spots where this has none.
PARENTS, THE BANE OF EVERY SCHOOL
This is considered a Teen book, cause there is no sex and very little violence and the main character is sixteen. This 55 year old man loved it. It takes place at a University. It is pro learning for learning sake, not for grades. The teachers love teaching and I saw my wife who is a math teacher in some of these characters. (especially the geometry teacher who was compared to teaching his class like a coach giving a motivational speech. A teacher who continued to teach, even after the end of the year exams, because learning is so much fun!) Another cool concept which happens early in the story, is a teacher dueling another teacher, no violence involved, hard to describe, you must read to learn how. The result is better teachers, cause at anytime a teacher who is set in his or her way can be challenged by an upstart and the more knowledgeable will win. (Not that the more knowledgeable always makes the best teacher, some PHD's make terrible teachers.) The concept just blew my mind.
The book has some twists in it, that surprised me. Sanderson could have also taken the easy, popular way out in one incident, but he was above that, which in my mind, even though I wanted the character to get what he wanted, made the story more real and a much better story, which Sanderson made up for later. (A kind of George R.R. Martin Moment.)CHOCOLATE IS THE GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME. Melody, is a character who you don't care for at first, but who you will end up loving. She is a total opposite to Joel, but she helps him to grow and he helps her in return. You will be routing for Joel to kiss her by the end of the book.
CHALKLINGS WERE TWO-DIMENSIONAL
I love the alternate world Sanderson creates. If there is a weak point it would be the chalklings themselves. I found it hard to get scared over two-dimensional creatures and I was never sure of the size of these things. I believe they were only a couple of inches long. The audible comes with a PDF, but the map of the United Isles is not in it. That is in the hard cover. You will want a copy of the hard cover, it is a beautiful book, illustrated by Ben McSweeney. Like Card's map in his Hat Track series, it alone is interesting. You also must get this recording, for the voice of Michael Kramer. Kramer made famous for The Wheel of Time series is perfect for this book and he better do the sequels. Some reviewers have mentioned that the whole story is not complete. I disagree, all but one loose end is tied up and life goes on, does any story really end. I am 55 and my story is still going on. Joel and Melody are only sixteen, they have a lot of story to go.
NOT HAVING ICE CREAM, SHE PROCLAIMED, IS THE CULMINATION OF ALL DISASTERS!
I am more Science Fiction then Fantasy, but this little novel grabbed my attention. It is certainly not a great book, yet I found it to be different. I guess I am a sucker for talking skulls, such as in Butcher's Dresden books and Kadry's Sandman Slim books. Niven wrote his book before those two. I enjoyed the attempt to capture the Moon and the whole book was an escape.
I may continue the series, just to see if it improves. The last book in the series just recently came out.
This is written in 2000, but it could have been written 100 years ago. That is to say it is a very simple, predictable plot with cookie cutter cut out characters. It could be a satire on so-so writing. It is not terrible, just not above average. Dusty Rhodes and Cormac McCarthy have written the best westerns I have read so far and they have totally different styles.
SHE BECOMES A REAL MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY
Probably the most important statement in the book. I used to tell my wife that I did not trust people who did not own dogs. My wife categorized them as selfish. This book made me glad these people do not have dogs. To hear how people treat dogs is disgusting. My wife and I have been married for over 36 years and we have always had dogs. We have found like (Marley) the dogs you love the most are usually the most damaged and hardest to deal with. We have always prided ourselves in not being quitters.
I learned a few thing in this book, to help me with my present dogs and wish I would have known some of this with some of our earlier dogs and I am sure it will help with future dogs.
This is not only a how to book, but it is full of lots of humor which makes the learning more fun. I highly recommend this to people who have dogs or are thinking about getting dogs, They are a lot bigger commitment then the average person realizes. A commitment that can last 15 years are more.
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