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Publisher's Summary

The June 2003 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a tribute to SF great Barry M. Malzberg, and so it's appropriate that Audible's May/June composite audio issue is bracketed by Malzbergiana, opening with Barry's own "A Short Religious Novel," a seeker tale reminiscent of the best of both Franz Kafka and Arthur C. Clarke, and ending with John Kessel's "Of New Arrivals, Old Encounters, and the Music of the Spheres," chronicling Barry's first night in Writer's Heaven. "The Retriever" by Harvey Jacobs is a noirish-toned piece of fantasy, depicting the ultimate gumshoe, who retrieves much more than the usual lost objects of desire.

The ingredients for "Basement Magic" are available in every home, but this powerful story of a trod-upon stepchild, written by Ellen Klages, is anything but mundane.

In "The Refuge Elsewhere," Robert Sheckley takes us inside the FBI's witness protection program and beyond - from upstate New York to a world we've mostly all heard of, but few have visited.

Jack Cady's "The Twenty-Pound Canary" is a romp through a carnival of science experiments set in an idyllic Midwestern town.

"The Tale of the Golden Eagle" by David D. Levine is a miniature epic space opera in the grand tradition, while Paulo Bacigalupi's "The Fluted Girl" is an equally classic evocation of a complex future society, complete with its own unique class structures, social mores, and political intrigues. Both these stories benefit from highly individualized characterizations and art forms far beyond most of our wildest dreams.

And finally, give up all pretense of knowing what's real and what's not on television by dialing "555." This Hollywood story by Robert Reed takes us inside an alternative world where soap opera is played for keeps.

©2003 Spilogale, Inc

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 11-26-09

One story makes this worth it...

"The Tale of the Golden Eagle" by David D. Levine is a fabulous, extremely well-written story that makes this audibook worth it. The rest of the stories are forgettable.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great short stories

If you like short stories, regardless of whether or you do or don't like science fiction or fantasy, you'll love these slices of life. It is worth the first and last stories alone!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

a mixed bag and an adequate production

Like all story collections, this boasts some good stories, and some dire stories. For the most part, the narration is fairly professional, though the into music is intrusive, distracting, pointless, sets a meaningless tone that often doesn't connect to the story at all and goes on far too long, even overwhelming the narration in some stories - at least in the beginning, and is REALLY annoying. I will never understand why producers of such work can't let the work speak for itself and feel the need to B movie it up with a lot of unnecessary music/sound effects. Though , to be fair, it is just incredibly annoying intor music, not sound effects or music in the stories themselves.

THere are some really great stories here, and some I felt, as forced listening, would be appropriate punishment if I were in prison and they needed to extract some deep secret.

Worth a credit for a few stories and to explore what is out there, but like all story mixes it is mixed.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful