"Why I Left Harry's All-Night Diner", Copyright ©1987 by Lawrence Watt Evans; "Jeffty Is Five", Copyright ©1977 by Harlan Ellison; "The Nine Billion Names of God", Copyright ©1953, Renewed 1981 by Arthur C. Clarke; "The Crystal Spheres", Copyright ©1984 by David Brin; "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas", Copyright ©1973 by Ursula K. LeGuin; "Huddling Place", Copyright ©1944 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc., Renewed 1972 by Clifford D. Simak; "That Only a Mother", Copyright ©1948 by Judith Merrill; "Fermi and Frost", Copyright ©1985 by Davis Publications, Inc.; "Tangents", Copyright ©1986 by Omni Publications International Ltd.; "Bears Discover Fire", Copyright ©1990 by Davis Publications Inc., "Allamagoosa", Copyright ©1955 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc.; and "Twilight", Copyright ©1935 by Street & Smith Publications; Copyright (P)1998 by NewStar Media, Inc.
A couple of classic stories -- Arthur Clarke, Le Guin, but some painful duds.
Overacting, especially loud to soft variations (turn it up, turn it down) and cloying enactments of children's parts (not that they weren't cloying to begin with. The wise child in SF is a deeply annoying stereotype.)
It turned me off from this curator's choices, surely
Reading is average, but the best thing would have been not performing at all, listening to it was a waste if my time
Nearly everything: with a few exceptions I could call it "The most trivial and boring..." And most of the stories are non even SF, just fantasy
I advise to be more careful than I was: who is the guy that arrogates to itself the right to decide what are the Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century?
There were only a couple of short stories in this collection that I found to my liking. I am quite ready to admit that my taste may be more "traditional" (if that term may be applied to Science Fiction). I grew up reading Asimov, Herbert, Clark and the like. SciFi stories which attempt to address serious social issues in the genre simply diminish the effect in my eyes.
To paraphrase Bob Seger, "Gimme that ol' time SciFi..."
Back when I was a kid, there was a somewhat cruel trick that you used to play on kids who weren't quite cool enough to be in your group. (Of course, I discovered it by having it played on me). One of the cooler kids would tell a joke for which there was an intentionally nonsensical punchline. After the punchline was delivered, everyone in on the prank would laugh heartily causing the victim to (usually) laugh along with them as if they understood the joke. At which point, they would be asked to explain the joke which, of course, they could not.
That's how I felt about most of the stories here. I found the writing (and, for the most part the performances, very good) But the stories endings always seemed to fall off a cliff. Like the author just ran out of gas, or had to go somewhere and didn't have time to complete the story. Of course, "True" sci-fi fans will take exception to my analysis and insist that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the brilliance. Or they will (As they have) list all the awards a story has received. To that, I will simply mention an older "No Soap the Radio" version: The Emperor's New Clothes.
three or four of the stories were worth it, but I cannot recommend it highly. If it's free okay, but otherwise keep your money. Cheers
I was amazed at how dreadful this book was after looking at its 3.7 rating. Though it started promisingly with "Jeffty is Five," the selected stories were, for the most part, overly long and exceedingly uninteresting. (Caution: do not listen to this book while driving!) I found one of them about a precocious newborn particulary pointless and offputting. I can only imagine that readers giving good reviews to this tripe haven't been exposed to really good sci-fi yet. I was all the more disappointed because I was anticipating a good "read." Rats.
I agree Richard. Thank goodness it was only $10. Maybe the readers were culpable but these stories were boring and pointless. I'd comment in further detail but I didn't make it through any of the stories completely.
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