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Astronauts and Heretics
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
These seven stories are loaded with SF goodness: they are gritty, bleak, losing-my-religion, often-hilarious, wag-the-alien, Seinfeld-loving targeted missiles. (You won't look at your toothbrush or skyscrapers or the Pope the same way--unless you're too busy wondering which version of you was retrieved and reassembled today.)

I've read entire novels that contain fewer ideas and less world-building than one of these finely crafted short stories (although "Henry the Human Flea" did not seem as fleshed out as all the others--no pun intended). This guy's laser-sharp humor, cynicism tempered with a battered optimism, and just plain wonderful, tightly packed writing made me want to duck for cover: what the frak could he do to my head if let loose at full length?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Thomas Marcinko is, as of this writing, an unjustly under-appreciated author. I'm waiting for some smart imprint to buy his novel-length fiction so I can read that. In the meantime, his first collection, Astronauts and Heretics, assembles several of his excellent science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories, all of which display his distinctly off-kilter, sometimes acerbic, often amusing Jonathan Swift-via-Galaxy Magazine sensibilities. I'm not going to ruin your fun by describing all the stories, but "Whiter Teeth, Fresher Breath" is representative, with a science-fictional spin on the singles scene that I am convinced no one else could ever have thought up. Truly. Read this one and tell me I'm wrong.

Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
In Astronauts and Heretics, author Tom Marcinco takes us on science fictional journeys that have the special knack of making us think, dread and laugh, often at the same time. From the dystopic possibilities of superhuman powers and a real-world return of Christ, to the comedic mashup of Seinfeld with Deep Space Nine, to a truly original tale about inter-stellar Catholic missionaries, Marcinco's collection is sure to engage your mind, funny bone, and heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Seven short sci-fi tales which will make you laugh, cringe, and THINK--all within the space of a few pages. There's not a story here which isn't worth reading; and if you are a true fan of the genre, I think you will be amazed at the new ideas brought forth with these tales. Give this one a try and you'll be glad you did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The stories are short, well-written and imaginative. The book covers a gamut of geeky concepts - superheroes, space aliens, toothpaste bars and gods.
I'm looking forward to the author's next work.
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on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Was a good way to pass some time, stories were enjoyable though I thought the author was a little heavy handed at times. Favorite story was the lightest, "Deep Space Sein." Probably would have enjoyed them more if I hadn't read them one after the other, would still be more than willing in reading more by the author.
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on June 30, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Very enjoyable read by writers gifted in effortlessly creating alternative realities in a short story format. I could read some of them again in a search for perhaps some deeper meaning, but enjoyed them nevertheless. Recommended by Boing Boing, and I'd agree!
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on April 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
My first disclaimer is that I love the short-story format and I'm a dedicated and avid SF&F reader. I fall very firmly in the audience bracket for this collection and I was not disappointed. Better still, I was surprised and delighted by what I found therein.

A humanist theme resonates through all of the stories, and the writer demonstrates a keen eye for observation and a wry sense of humour. So, on one hand I recognise that this collection will not suit everyone and on the other, I unreservedly recommend it to readers who look for more than light entertainment in their short fiction. I very rarely give 5-stars, but Marcinko's originality won me over.
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on March 12, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Thomas Marcinko has a unique way of seeing the world, and the stories in this collection are quirky and haunting. The subject matter is varied, ranging from superheroes to religion, but the outlook is always entertainingly bleak and insightful. In the space of a few pages per story, Marcinko manages to create feelings of wonder and nostalgia that will stay with you long after reading. My only complaint is that some of the stories seemed to have more to say, and ended too soon.
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on March 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the out of the ordinary plots. Worth the time to download.
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