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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of good stories
Human for a Day is a theme anthology that covers various beings becoming human, corporeal, incarnate, animate, or mortal for a limited period of time. The topics range from statues made animate to vampires swapping bodies with teenagers to steampunk machines gaining free will. There are also two stories about pets becoming humans, in case you wanted to revisit the old...
Published on January 9, 2012 by Rover

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3.0 out of 5 stars A wide mix of stories
Human for a Day is an anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek. Each story tackles a different aspect of the question: what if something could become human for just one day? How would that affect them and those around them? What would happen? Each author has a very different tale to tell, and the range is quite interesting. I’ll delve into a few...
Published 3 months ago by H. Grove (errantdreams)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of good stories, January 9, 2012
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Rover "R.R." (Virginia countryside) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors) (Mass Market Paperback)
Human for a Day is a theme anthology that covers various beings becoming human, corporeal, incarnate, animate, or mortal for a limited period of time. The topics range from statues made animate to vampires swapping bodies with teenagers to steampunk machines gaining free will. There are also two stories about pets becoming humans, in case you wanted to revisit the old saw. The stories are almost universally good, with a nice editing job, excellent length, and reasonable accessibility (though the story about the warrior through time and the story about the Mad Hatter running around with Shakespeare both take some work).

Perhaps because of the season, "The Very Next Day," when Jody Lynn Nye's incarnation of Santa Claus visits New York City in September, sticks in my head as one of the more pleasant and re-visitable stories. Seanan McGuire's "Cinderella City" was cute and fun in a rum-soaked San Francisco sort of way. "The Dog-Catcher's Song" was so straight up (and sad) that I had to go back and check that it really was Tanith Lee. I am aware that Jim Hines is working on a book where objects can be pulled from the story and made real, so "Epilogue" felt very homey and sad, rather than immediately casting me into despair.

It's only as I work on my reflections about the book that the stunning horror of the last story is setting in. I don't know what it is with authors trying to end anthologies on such a downward beat, but like the book Running with the Pack, I'm sorry to say that some of the gruesome aspects in books stick harder when one of the stories sets up a death that I can empathetically feel and cannot disbelieve. The book is somehow diminished in my mind, because the shadows loom larger than the characters. And so it is with specific regret that this book - as well crafted as it is - is being tossed into my giveaway pile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to a legacy, January 4, 2012
This review is from: Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors) (Mass Market Paperback)
This collection examines what it means to be human, with all the hope and heartbreak this entails.
From robot slavery (complete with an underground railroad) to how do you spend your final hours when trapped and you know you will die?
Like any really good story, these take the basic premise and expand upon the theme.
This volume is filled with tales that manage to take the step further.
Martin H. Greenburg will be sorely missed, this anthology adds to an impressive legacy.
© Night Owl Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stories, with 2 stunners, October 30, 2012
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This review is from: Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors) (Mass Market Paperback)
One of the reasons I like reading anthologies is because i will often find short stories from authors I like, in which they are more experimental than they may be in their novels.

This is a good example.

I don't think there was a weak story in this anthology... but some were definitely better than others.

In particular, Rusch's "The Destroyer" blew me away, and just itself made this book a keeper for me. I love cats, and 2 of my current 3 are ex-ferals that we rescued and that are still somewhat feral in their reactions. This story showed a deep understanding of cats, inasmuch as us humans can manage that, and it was grim but satisfying.

Also, Hine's "Epilog" really touched me deeply.

Not to say the rest were bad! They were well-written and great reads, which makes this one of the better anthologies I've read recently.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A wide mix of stories, May 16, 2014
This review is from: Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors) (Mass Market Paperback)
Human for a Day is an anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek. Each story tackles a different aspect of the question: what if something could become human for just one day? How would that affect them and those around them? What would happen? Each author has a very different tale to tell, and the range is quite interesting. I’ll delve into a few of the more memorable tales, although I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers.

Cinderella City by Seanan McGuire: The city of San Francisco has been incarnated as a human without her permission or understanding. It’s up to a strange bartender and the Summer King to unravel the mystery and save her from an alchemist’s dastardly machinations. My favorite part is the attraction of the various animals of the city to her incarnated form. In particular, the pigeons that follow her everywhere. Cinderella is clever, fun, and entertaining.

Tumulus by Anton Strout: Normally I’m a real fan of Strout’s stories, but this one left me a little cold. In it, Jeanine, who has been unable to conceive a child, decides to call on a very unlikely source of power for aid. I found the story too thick with detailed explanations, and had trouble believing in Jeanine’s justification for her particular choice of power to call upon.

The Sentry by Fiona Patton: I found the beginning confusing, but the rest of the story was so evocative and compelling that I could forgive that. A statue of a military sentry comes to life, and sets off to help a fellow soldier finally let go and move onward. It turns out that the sentry himself, however, has some of his own realizations to come to.

The Destroyer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: I adored this tale of a tomcat’s attempt to save his territory and those within it from a particularly vile human. I loved the ways in which Rusch conveys the attitudes of both indoor and outdoor cats and how they’re affected by what’s going on around them. In particular I found the arc of the main character’s actions and cares engrossing and affecting.

Finally, Epilogue by Jim C. Hines lived up to what I’ve come to expect from his tales. It’s quirky, touching, and unusual, and my only regret is that it wasn’t a bit longer and didn’t explore its subject just a wee bit more. In it, a woman finds herself trapped in a cave-in with only a collection of her father’s stories on her phone for company.

Six out of sixteen is a high percentage of ‘okay’ stories, particularly combined with two that really didn’t do anything for me, which is why Human for a Day didn’t manage a 4 out of 5. The stories that I did enjoy were quite good, however, and the central conceit of the anthology is a fascinating one. It’s a good book to spend an afternoon with, and you might find a new author or three to follow.

[NOTE: review book provided by publisher]
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Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors)
Human for a Day (Daw Book Collectors) by Erik Scott de Bie (Mass Market Paperback - December 6, 2011)
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