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Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (263 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Watch out - the Earth just fell into a dark sun's orbit! Or maybe you'd rather visit a theme park called Hell? These are just two of the strange and unnerving tales you'll find in this collection of great science fiction and fantasy stories. Take your imagination into futuristic and mystical worlds where gravity can kill and humans become walking biochip labs. See the world through the eyes of a four-legged creature in Susan Shwartz's "Critical Cats", and meet an electronic storyteller in Isaac Asimov's "Someday".

The other stories include Greg Bear's "Blood Music," Ben Bova's "The Man Who Hated Gravity", Arthur C. Clarke's "Breaking Strain", Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air", Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Sing" and "Story Child", Dan Simmons's "Vanni Fucci Is Alive and Well and Living in Hell", Connie Willis's "Ado", and Jane Yolen's "Green Messiah."

©198 8; 1990 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch; 1956 by Royal Publications; 1991 by Susan Shwartz; 1951 by Galaxy Publishing Corporation, Renewed 1978 by Fritz Leiber; 1949 by Arthur C. Clarke; 1988 by Jane Yolen; 1989 by Davis Publications; 1987 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch; 1983 by Greg Bear (P)1991 Dove Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Noah
  • New York, New York
  • 08-25-10

Cute stories, clunky format

The stories in this anthology are not the most mind-blowing or the most exciting I've read, but they are generally very solid - my favorites were Susan Schwartz's "Critical Cats," Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air," and Isaac Asimov's "Someday." Arthur C. Clarke's "Breaking Strain" and Dan Simmons' "Vanni Fucci is Alive and Well and Living in Hell" are also strong. In general, the stories in this anthology are cute rather than brilliant. The narrator is good.

The format, however, is kind of annoying, since the audiobook chapters do not begin and end where the stories begin and end; thus, it is impossible to go to the beginning of a story. I'm not sure why they divided the chapters this way. Also, the anthology is a little short for the price.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • Taylorsville, UT, United States
  • 01-01-07

Worth double the price

This is a rare collection of science fiction stories, and the readers are great! I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys being entertained by great fiction.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Travis
  • Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • 06-13-05

4 Great Stories, the rest are interesting

4 stars for "Critical Cats", "Breaking Strain", "Vanni Fucci" and "Ado" because they each combine an interesting story with good characters. The other stories are interesting but didn't draw me in as much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin
  • Whitinsville, MA, USA
  • 12-20-02

Vanni Fucci . . .

Without a doubt - this book is worth "the price of admission" purely for "Vannic Fucci is Alive and Well and Living in Hell" - a tongue planted firmly in cheek look into a morning religious talk show.

"Vanni Fucci gave God the fig... twice."

Pure brilliance!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

awesome collection

This was one of the best audio short story collections I've had the pleasure of listening to.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim
  • PUEBLO, CO, United States
  • 07-03-14

Great short stories

great short stories, when I purchased it I didn't realize I had read it on paper, narration was not very good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Inverness, IL, United States
  • 02-14-12

Good stories, mixed performances and odd format

Does anybody know who the performer is on the first story, Blood music by Greg Baer? Sounds like Ray Manzarek but I am not aware of him doing such things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic collectioon

Some great stories with excellent narration. Greg Barr seems to be in just about every collection that is good

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

random musical interludes?

what's with the random musical interludes in the middle of stories? also every story I'd either heard before or wasn't very good

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poor production quality

Nice short stories, a good selection of good authors; however I really strongly recommend against downloading because the audio fidelity in the file changes dramatically during playback. Not like, it constantly does so, which would be me thing, but about halfway through each story there is a pointless break with 5sec of music, then the story resumes with 10x less quality audio, which persists for 15-20 minutes until another break comes up.
Made it *really* frustrating to listen to on a long car trip as I had to keep turning it comically loud in some parts, which of course would wake up my copilot. Not cool.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-01-17

An enjoyable colleciton

Any additional comments?

I thought this was a good collection of stories, even a bit unsettling at times. There's a good variety and a lot of stories I didn't think I'd like that I ended up quite enjoying. The narration is superb, with a special mention to "Blood Music" which was done so well that is sort of messed me up for the day.

The formatting of the stories is odd, I don't think the Audible chapters line up with the chapters of the story, and there's this weird spooky interlude music that makes it feel like an audio drama. It's not that a big a deal but still worth mentioning. Not sure if I would have been happy paying a full credit for it but I had a £5 voucher and for that the book was a steal.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • thomas
  • 02-20-17

Mixed quality

Mixed bag with some gems in there, but to be expected from a collection like this.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-18

thoroughly enjoyed

Great short tales, narration lol , very easy listening thankyou very much to the readers. The only tiny down point is the drop in sound quality from chapter 6 onwards otherwise great listening