Four sci-fi short stories where you'll find good computers, people who regret their past, and an explanation for something you're familiar with.
The first section had a series of six images that appeared grouped together. The furthest left showed a small creature that appeared to live in water. On its right was a similar creature, but it had legs and was crawling on the land. The remainder of the series showed progressive images showing the creature growing larger, and the appendages changing until it was fully erect and it was strikingly similar to the bone structure she had just looked at.
"The Greatest Host"
After the foraging, the host moved to a corner of the open area and there was another creature. The Mists were concerned that if their host were threatened or attacked, it would be terrible for them. They could all lose their lives at once. If the host sensed any threat, they would immediately use all of their ability to coerce the host back to the ship's location so they could download.
"Circle is Closed"
Commander Leopold Harnesy was standing on the bridge of the HSV#2. He was nervous; in fact, he was scared. The fate of HSV#1 was fresh in his mind. His ship's predecessor was sitting in the same exact location five years ago, and when its commander, Roberta Jenkins, engaged the faster than light drive, the ship disintegrated into trillions of molecules. It was obvious what had happened, the calculations were a little off.
This short story is an interesting tie-in between science fiction and corporate culture, with a computer throwing in a twist. Anyone that has worked in a large company will share some of the issues that Robert deals with. In this story, instead of 'they' causing the problem, it is the computer sharing the assignment.
©2016 Raymond J Perreault (P)2016 Raymond J Perreault
Mr. Perrault's stories are an acquired taste, and this anthology is not exception. That said, it is "classic" sci fi ,and so I would for those fans.
He is a good fit both stylistically and emotionally with RJP's content, and he was professional and consistent. I enjoyed him bringing the stories to life.
Anthologies rarely do, and this is no exception.
I received this audiobook from the author via Audioblast in exchange for an unbiased review, which is what this is. This is a moderately good anthology of similar short stories by RJP. Some of better than others, and some of them are unfinished or need editing. That said, it is an interesting collection of similar themed stories and worth the listen.
Did not read the printed version
It all was good
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher
In order of individual publication, here are my reviews of the stories contained in this anthology.
The Greatest Host
In this short and amusing story, Ilrod and his fellow organisms (known as the Mists) have had to abruptly leave their planet where they shared a symbiotic relationship with their hosts for many years. Now, alas, the planet is destroyed and many of the Mists have been lost. It takes many, many years, but they eventually reach another habitable planet and begin their search for a new host species.
This was a cute story that gave me several chuckles. The Mists made me think vaguely of jellyfish in that each Mist is made up of individual molecules that cooperate together to make one functioning being. The Mists look like just how their name implies and they search for symbiotic relationships with other animals.
I enjoyed the last few minutes as Ilrod and his fellow Mists discover a new species to play host to them. The descriptions from Ilrod’s point of view were amusing and I quickly guessed what kind of animal they had come upon. Once again, the author has provided quality entertainment.
Circle Is Closed
Commander Leopold Harnessy is leading a mission to test a new FLT (Faster Than Light) technology. The humans of planet Horizon hope to find old Earth and perhaps resettle her but first a test ship must be sent to see if the new tech works. If it does, then larger ships could be sent the same way. The Horizon humans left Earth many, many generations ago but they still revere her. Now, they wish to reclaim that heritage.
Harnessy must leave his family on Horizon as he undertakes this possibly dangerous mission. His daughter Rose asks him a serious question about Earth during the send off ceremony. Harnessy hopes to find the answer to it and many other questions. When Harnessy & crew arrive at Earth, she is healed of all the environmental damage that forced humans to leave her so long ago. However, Harnessy and his shipmates are met with a surprise.
The author did a great job for such a short story. There’s plenty to consider in this compact tale. I was quickly drawn into the tale. There’s some big questions the main character has to consider, both before he leaves Horizon and once he gets to Earth. While the story moves swiftly along, it has depth.
The 4 laws of conformity have maintained a functional society for generations: 1) Continue making units; 2) Protect all units already made; 3) Expand the knowledge base; and 4) Maintain variation in thought. Helen strives to follow the last 2 laws in her scientific studies.
I quite enjoyed this tale of non-organic beings and their well-organized society. Helen and Lorenzo often join Eve and Roberto for dinner and discussion. Helen is a bit fascinated by the local DNA-based life forms, but the topic is considered a bit gauche. Nevertheless, Helen and her lab assistants (Ivan and Lorraine) want to continue their observations.
What Helen and her assistants discover is rather disturbing to not only herself, but to her society. It was pretty cool how the author had the main character discovering this long-forgotten truth and how her immediate friends and colleagues react. It’s akin to when humans started accepting that the Sun, and not Earth, was the center of the solar system. I’ve read Perreault’s SIMPOC books, but this is my favorite of his works so far. Definitely some food for thought there. What if a society developed so far and forgot their origins, only to discover them later?
Good Morning …Processes Must Be Improved
Robert has been assigned to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, to mine methane. Much of the operation is done by robots and a human is needed to fix minor break downs and such. The resident built-in AI is TCI12, or Tessy. Things start off well enough but then little by little they fall apart.
This was a fun piece of scifi. While it’s a bit of a classic plot set up, I still enjoyed seeing how the author played with it. There’s some miscommunication with Earth about shipments, supplies, and the state of the miningbots on Titan. As Robert sees mangled messages congratulating other mining colonies, he both redoubles his efforts and becomes more and more pessimistic.
Meanwhile, Tessy does it’s ‘best’ to keep Robert on schedule, prodding him with daily reminders of the shipping quota and how many bots are down. On the surface, Tessy seems quite helpful and organized. Can an AI have ulterior motives? Or a (twisted) sense of humor?
I liked that Robert comments a few times about how it’s a tough assignment, being the only human on Titan for so many weeks/months at a time, how important it is to stay busy in order to stay mentally balanced. This is a good question for the story, not just for humans, but for any sentient being stuck on Titan with minimal socializing for any significant length of time.
I liked the ending because it speaks of further mischievousness. I hope when us humans start using AI for stuff in general, folks go back to the ‘Perreault classics’ and build in safety features that prevent and/or recognize questionable behavior in AIs at an early stage. This tale is a worthy read, and would make a good lunchbreak story.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author.
Narration: For The Greatest Host, Christopher M. Allport did a great job with this short story. As the voice of Ilrod, he was excellent at portraying the Mist’s emotions, first at the loss of the planet and fellow Mists, and later at the wonder of discovering such a compatible host. For Circle Is Closed, Christopher M. Allport tossed in some real ship sounds for when the ship AI is answering questions or announcing something. Each character was distinct and the the female voices were realistic. He also performed an old lady and a little girl with success. For Progeny, Christopher M. Allport did a good job narrating this story as well. His female voices were believable and his story-telling style was straight forward, letting me sink into the tale without being hung up on vocal theatrics. For Good Morning… Processes Must Be Improved, Christopher M. Allport gave a good performance. He made transmissions sound like transmissions with radio noises and such. I liked his helpful, calm voice for Tessy. He also did a great job with Robert’s voice, showing how Robert was somewhat enthusiastic about his assignment at the beginning and how little by little, that changed over the course of the story.
We sell Vintage and Retro items on line. We teach children urban gardening and robotics. Traveling around the USA is our favorite hobby.
I really liked "Progeny" and "Circle is Closed". Very strong Classic Science Fiction. Reminded me of a Piers Anthony story. Well written and actually makes the reader think. The narrator was excellent. He was great with voices and inflection.
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
All the stories were very engaging and entertaining.
My favorite character was the lead researcher robot who was interested in "recombining" humans. She was my favorite because of her curiousity.
The base computer on Good Morning. He managed to convey a slight hint of danger without breaking character.
When I realized that there was a surprise in the anthology!
I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review. I've had troubles finding new true sci-fi authors to check out and I was pleasantly surprised. I will definitely read more of his stories.
I enjoyed these 4 science fiction stories by Ray Jay Perreault. Interesting characters and storylines made for an enjoyable listen. Look forward to more of his writing in the future. I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review.”
Lisa Davidson is a poet, author, and devoted bibliophile (myopic from age four). Listening to audiobooks is pure bliss. Thank you, Audible!
Ray Jay Perreault has created a winner with his new "Science Fiction Anthology: Volume 1." All four stories are imaginative and original with a kicker and a twist, in the tradition of Asimov's and Analog.
I leave the Anthology loaded on my phone for those in-between moments when I don't want a novel, and every time I listen I hear something new that makes the stories richer. My favorite is the fourth story, "Good Morning," with its "gotcha" ending! Completely unexpected--and I think everyone can identify with the isolated worker, unsure of the line between discrimination and paranoia, and too exhausted by his situation to get any real perspective on why he is being so thoroughly abused. It's much more than a parody of office life in a corrupt corporation.
Narrator Christopher M. Allport succeeds in making multiple voices realistic, including the non-human ones! Enjoy.
"I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review."
Love this authors works. I have listened to almost all of his stories. I was happy to get this collection of shorts as I hadn't yet heard the perfect host. Good morning still ranks as one of if not my all time favorite short story. Through simple conversations and recorded messages I can completely imagine the entire story in my head, wonderful with a perfect twist at the end. This author and narrator truly capture the essence of what sci fi is and Deliver it perfectly. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review
Somewhere in the bottom half. I am not a huge sci-fi fan, let me first say. I like stories and if they happen to have the setting in the future or space, so be it. That being said, I liked the stories that were part of this to a degree. For my taste, there was a lot of reliance on understanding the sci-fi aspect of the stories to really get the flavor of the story itself. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I don't want to always have to figure out who is a robot, etc. That is my cross to bear. The stories were well written and had subtle doses of old school dystopia thrown in. The narrator was poorly paced, his reading was jerky and his voices were often unclear, to the point of confusion. I attributed it to voicing robots at first, but it doesn't change when robots are not the characters.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
“I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review.”
This was an entertaining collection of science fiction short stories. I especially liked the first story (Progeny) and the last (Good Morning). I actually really like short stories because they are easy to listen to between things that I have going on. Even though science fiction is not my FAVORITE genre, I still enjoy it, and I found these stories very enjoyable and entertaining. I like how the author brings in his experience from his careers to make each story seem realistic. I listened to the Audible audio version of the book narrated by Christopher M. Allport. I thought he did a good job, but there weren't a whole lot of different "voices" required for this book, so I'm unsure of what his range is, since this is the first book I've listened to that is narrated by him. Based on this book alone, I enjoyed him and would listen to other books he has narrated. If you are a fan of science fiction or short stories, I recommend giving this book a try.
""To expand our knowledge and seek variation ...""
This short anthology of stories is classic s.f. and the reading beautifully executed by Mr.Allport in style of the writing.
Four stories, sometimes predicable but none the worse for that, all of which take an unusual look at what might seem to be commonplace. In the brief introduction, the author confides his love of science fiction and the ideas made possible within the genre. And these little vignettes both delight and make the listener think, pondering on ideas long after the story is finished. This is especially true of, Good Morning, the last in the selection. The perfect way to end this book.
The narration is not the usual, relaxed voice of most audio productions. Instead, and following the content of the first story, Christopher Allport has made himself a mechanoid. A good sympathetic pairing of author and narrator.
My thanks to the rights holder of Science Fiction Anthology for the complentary copy I received, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an honest review. This I have given.
"A good book, well read"
These stories are very interesting and leave you wanting to know what happens next
The third story had a lovely sense of humour running through it which you do not always find in science fiction
The endings to these stories were the best, they leave you to make up the next chapter !
These were short stories which made it easy to listen to one story and then come back for another
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
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