The ex-planet Pluto has a few choice words about being thrown out of the solar system. A listing of alternate histories tells you all the various ways Hitler has died. A lawyer sues an interplanetary union for dangerous working conditions. And four artificial intelligences explain, in increasingly worrying detail, how they plan not to destroy humanity. Welcome to Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.
These four stories, along with 14 other pieces, have one thing in common: They're short, sharp, and to the point - science fiction in miniature, with none of the stories longer than 2,300 words. But in that short space exist entire universes, absurd situations, and the sort of futuristic humor that propelled Scalzi to a Hugo with his novel Redshirts. Not to mention yogurt taking over the world (as it would).
Spanning the years from 1991 to 2016, this collection is a quarter century of Scalzi at his briefest and best and features four never-before-published stories exclusive to this collection: "Morning Announcements at the Lucas Interspecies School for Troubled Youth", "Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back", "Important Holidays on Gronghu", and "The AI Are Absolutely Positively Without a Doubt Not Here to End Humanity, Honest".
John Scalzi is the New York Times best-selling author of Old Man's War, Lock In, and Redshirts, among others. His work has won the Hugo and Locus Awards and been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell Awards. He lives in Ohio and online. He enjoys pie.
Full cast of narrators includes Oliver Wyman, Dina Pearlman, and Allyson Johnson.
©2016 John Scalzi (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
"The production includes six narrators, including Scalzi, with each taking on two or more stories. This proves a smart choice.... Between the narrators and the stories, this collection proves to be a perfect introduction for listeners wanting to get a comprehensive sense of Scalzi's style." (AudioFile)
If you answer yes to any of these next question you should totally get this audiobook:
1) Do you like short and "laugh out loud" science fiction?
2) Do you wonder what human interaction with aliens on a daily basis in school or in the workplace would be like?
3) Do you find the idea of human annihilation by AI or an intelligent Randian Yogurt possibly funny?
4) Does the idea of security risk assessment regarding spaceship travels or super heroes/villains amuse you?
5) All of the above?
Obs: if you like this, get "Redshirts" and/or "Fuzzy Nation"
Most of the stories made me laugh out loud! And since I listened to it in the car, I got some really funny looks. (Which, in my opinion, makes it just that much more fun!)
Hard to choose because each of the stories is so unique. My favorite is 'Denise Jones, Superbooker'. OMG!! So hilarious! The last 'story', though, is a poem he wrote to Penelope (wife of Odysseus), which is extremely sweet. Very touching.
So many characters, so many voices.... The kids in the Lemonade story had the perfect whiny tones. Ha!
Not necessary because the stories are so short, but I did want to because it was so entertaining.
Could not have asked for a more enjoyable two+ hours of entertainment. If you like Scalzi's work, this is a must-have.
Some of these short stories are excellent and quite funny. This is particularly true for most of, but not all, of the "alien encounter" variations that make up the solid core of the collection. Mr Scalzis own comments on his stories are interesting, but perhaps they do contribute to a (very slight) tendency towards chattiness that creeps in now and then. The book is certainly enjoyable as it is, but I feel that by replacing some of the less interesting stories, cutting out the comments alltogether and by doing just a little bit of extra polishing on the best stories this volume could have become a real classic.
I'm quite a fan of Scalzi's novels (although I've tired of the Old Man's War series) and the inventive imagination that drew me to his writing seems absent in these short-short stories. These are mostly funny stories but without any depth or compellingly original ideas. Sorry John!
If you only have 15-20min here and there to listen, this is an enjoyable way to do it. Scalzi is one of my favorite authors and being able to listen to him in short bursts is great.
I have always been a fan of Scalzi's writing. He's had these streak of books that have never failed to amuse and engage. so sit back and enjoy.
finally got a chuckle after an hour; didn't finish the book
light reading; good for teens maybe
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