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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's the Alien?
Long Eyes is a collection of stories for the true sci-fi fan. The worlds that Jeff Carlson's characters inhabit are just familiar enough- with a truly alien twist - to give the reader cause for thought. How did human civilization begin? How far are we willing to go to immerse ourselves in our passions? What happens to a world that becomes destroyed by pollution? These...
Published on March 23, 2011 by voreader

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Mild disappointment
I like sci fi and I like short stories but this collection seemed a bit lame. Often the explanation after the story was longer than the story and less interesting
Published 10 months ago by Sanderson R. Orr


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's the Alien?, March 23, 2011
This review is from: Long Eyes and Other Stories (Kindle Edition)
Long Eyes is a collection of stories for the true sci-fi fan. The worlds that Jeff Carlson's characters inhabit are just familiar enough- with a truly alien twist - to give the reader cause for thought. How did human civilization begin? How far are we willing to go to immerse ourselves in our passions? What happens to a world that becomes destroyed by pollution? These are questions that good sci-fi writing makes the reader think about.
The humanity shown by the main characters guide all of their decisions, despite the fact that one is a human/spaceship hybrid; one is a human/sea creature hybrid, and one is a clone. All of these stories are thought provoking, as well as just plain entertaining and fun to read. My favorite involves Joanna in the Planet of the Sealies who makes a discovery that will help save humanity. Wait till you find out what Sealies are.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Eyes is Excellent, March 28, 2011
This review is from: Long Eyes and Other Stories (Kindle Edition)
This collection is is very good. Carlson excels at high concept storytelling. You never know where he's going, you just know its going to be a mindbending ride. He delivers a lot of ideas and action adventure in each compact story. It's like being punched in the brain. I love it! Pressure was my favorite.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Eyes - One hell of a short story compilation, November 25, 2011
This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
Reading short stories is fairly new to me. In fact, before this year I had never read a compilation of short stories before. I am finding that I actually enjoy them quite a bit. With a baby around, short stories are often the perfect length for me to read. I also enjoy seeing how an author can manage to captivate a reader in a short amount of time. However, because of the fact that reading these is so new to me, I'm still not completely sure how to review them, which probably shows and for that I apologize.

I had never read anything by Jeff Carlson before, and when he emailed me with an offer to review this book I couldn't turn him down. The idea of reading science fiction short stories hooked me for numerous reasons. First, I enjoy science fiction quite a bit and don't feel like I read nearly enough of it. Secondly, I enjoy the "science" part of science fiction and third, I couldn't wait to see how an author could pile in the necessary science and world building into a short story to make it believable and worth reading.

Carlson is an international best seller for his Plague Year Trilogy and, based on the writing in Long Eyes, he's an author I can't wait to read more from. The stories in Long Eyes are short, easy to read and many of them are incredibly poignant and also peppered with some great artwork. Carlson excels at not only writing an entertaining yarn, but also writing a story that will stick with readers long after they read it. An example is the story Monsters, which is an incredibly disturbing piece about a man infected with HIV in a movie theater. Monsters will probably be stuck with me for a long, long time.

Not only are his stories memorable, but they also will, more often than not, provoke thought from readers. The story Long Eyes is a great example of thought provoking work. The story focuses on a woman who discovers a race of beings on another planet and decides to keep them from being discovered by others so they have a shot at survival. The story itself, combined with Carlson's afterward where he explains his inspiration behind Long Eyes is actually quite thoughtful and profound when looked at as a whole.

One of the strengths of Long Eyes, which I didn't actually expect to be anything more than mildly annoying, are the afterwards he adds to each story which describes his inspiration, or motivation behind each story he wrote. These are often quite interesting tidbits, but they are also fascinating insights into the mind of a man who thinks much deeper than surface level. These afterwards add an amazing depth to each story and, often, will force a reader to sit back and absorb the story again from a different angle.

It's not all just science fiction and technological mumbo-jumbo. Caninus, a wild story about a vampire dog, was written (as Carlson says) during his "horror phase." In fact, Long Eyes is filled with stories that exercise other facets to this science fiction author's talent. For example, Damned When You Do may be, Carlson says, the only fantasy story he ever writes and while it does have "sf guts" (another term I'm stealing from him), its style is different enough to take note of.

Carlson spends a lot of the book toying with situations which could happen tomorrow, or in sometime in our planet's future. Planet of the Sealies is set on Earth, taking place in the future. Humanity has been wiped out by ecological disaster and another race is digging through what we have left behind to find something useful. This story is very well executed, but it is also thought provoking. What impression are we leaving on future generations with our common behaviors now? Garbage dumps tell a story, and Carlson uses that as inspiration and it works fabulously.

I won't talk about each story in this review (there are a total of 16 stories). Instead, I will just tell you that, in this review, I have touched the bare tip of a captivating iceburg. Carlson is an excellent writer with a fascinating head on his shoulders. Long Eyes is an exercise in thought. Carlson doesn't just write these to entertain, he writes them to explore concepts and ideas and that's half the draw of this compilation. While many (if not all) of these stories have been published in other compilations (and won awards, been on a short list for awards, been translated into numerous languages and etc.) or magazines, this is the first time they have all been put together in one book and it is well worth reading. Carlson is one hell of an author and this is one hell of a compilation fans of science fiction should take note of.

4.5/5 stars

Bookworm Blues - speculative fiction book reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good variety of fast-paced, easy-to-read science fiction short stories, December 24, 2011
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This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
"Long Eyes and Other Stories" is Jeff Carlson's compilation of sixteen science fiction short stories, and several other previously published works. Three of the stories were previously published in the prestigious "Asimov's Science Fiction" Magazine, two in "Strange Horizons", and two appear for the first time in this anthology. The anthology encapsulates Carlson's unique style and storytelling that made his best-selling Plague Year and its sequels so successful. He has a knack for putting people in twisted situations and letting human nature take care of the rest.

"Monsters" is the creepiest short story of the lot, and does a superb job of reminding readers that everyday activities like going to the movies can be fatal. "Snack Food" shows how a simple errand like getting a haircut might not be so simple. "Interrupt" explores the potential impact of solar weather on human civilization. "Caninus" takes an interesting twist on vampirism. "Planet of the Sealies" drives home the message that human waste can be a valuable resource. "Damned When You Do" follows the peculiar lives of a future world savior's parents. "A Lovely Christmas Fire" is the engaging sequel to "Gunfight at the Sugarloaf Pet Food & Taxidermy", which Carlson also includes in the anthology. It continues the adventures of Montana law enforcement agents Highsong and Julie Beauchain as they strive to uncover a conspiracy that unleashed a mutant termite colony terrorizing Missoula, Montana. These entertaining tales are but a minor sampling of Carlson's adrenaline-fueled, fast-paced, storytelling style that is a must-read for anyone interested in science fiction short stories.

The other interesting aspect of this book is that one can observe Carlson's journey from a young writer to the international bestseller that he is today, as the anthology includes over twenty years of his writing (1990 - 2011). I highly recommend this anthology for anyone interested in a good variety of fast-paced, easy-to-read science fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of short stories exploring other worlds, December 19, 2011
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This review is from: Long Eyes and Other Stories (Kindle Edition)
This collection of Carlson's work is intriguing and involving. He creates worlds that are believable and to which we can relate and the characters in his books are all people about whom we come to care. Carlson's development of his worlds and what transpires in them varies from story to story, but never fails to impress, enthrall and entertain. Without getting into the plots of each of the stories, and giving away "Spoilers!" as River Song would say (Dr. Who fans will get that reference), I will stick to some more generalities. Carlson creates each of the worlds that he takes us to visit with care and a view to what happens to humanity through the passage of time and through its efforts to explore, conquer and better itself, or go along with its basest desires. This collection holds a place of honor in my collection alongside of those by Alan Dean Foster's "With Friends Like These" and Marion Zimmer Bradley's various "Darkover" anthologies (at least the ones with stories she wrote herself). Each of these stories gives us a view into a unique take on the natural, the extra terrestrial or the supernatural, as well as examining humanity in all it faults and nobility.

An excellent collection to have on your shelf!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of material, October 25, 2011
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This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
The collection of short stories kept me interested. I found there was plenty of stories in the collection and kept on being surprised when then was one more. I'm off to buy another book by this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepared to be transported!, December 16, 2011
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This review is from: Long Eyes and Other Stories (Kindle Edition)
I've been trying to think what I like best about Jeff Carlson's stories. It was hard to choose between: unpredictable, creative, highly entertaining, thought-provoking, and addicting. All these descriptions certainly apply to Jeff Carlson's work!
In the end, I think what I like best about Carlson's Long Eyes collection is this: I am utterly transported to alternate realities. After reading any of his stories I have a floating feeling ... as if I'm still a little disengaged from reality. Even when I'm long done reading I find there is a corner of my imagination still churning with the last story. (It's been ages since I read his "Plague" trilogy and aspects of those stories still crop unexpectedly in my mind.)
There's always plenty of action in Carlson's stories but you might be surprised at the more subtle and universal conflicts inherent in Carlson's characters: each have their own essence; that singular core of Self from which every action and thought is launched. Somehow, regardless of the landscape, timescape, or physical shape of the character, I always find myself resonating with some aspect of that character. It makes the stories so much richer.
I highly recommend this great collection of short stories. Prepared to be transported!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Concepts and Clever Conclusions, November 1, 2011
This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
Science fiction is plausible fantasy, in other words, weird stuff that could possibly happen. That's what makes it so fascinating. Jeff Carlson's new anthology, Long Eyes and Other Stories runs the gamut from futuristic technology to space travel. The sixteen short stories are radically different and each one will blow your mind with an intriguing concept and clever conclusion.
I love to escape into alternate realities but to me the best stories are character driven and Jeff's tales of human hybrids are my favorites. Long Eyes is a great story about Clara, part woman, part spaceship but my #1 favorite is Pressure. The story reminded me of a book I've read many times over, The Experiment by Richard Setlowe. Jeff tackles the same premise in a different way - adapting the human body to live in the depths of the ocean. He conveys perfectly the awe and fear of abandoning a family to explore the unknown. That's all I'm sayin'. You gotta read it yourself, it's good stuff.

For me one of the best parts of the book is the afterwords Jeff includes at the end of each story. Writers' minds work in weird and wonderful ways, and who doesn't like to know how a writer comes up with his ideas? Highly recommended! I can't wait to see what Jeff comes up with next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of stories about humanity in all its variety, December 21, 2011
This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
The stories contained in this Anthology each were very well written and kept my attention throughout. Carlson delves into humanity and its permutations and variations as it expands through the stars, through time, or even just in the present. His imaginative stories always pull you in and give you the action, characters and excellent plots that one has come to expect from Carlson. His vision of how things might be, could be and even possibly are can be scary, exciting, thought provoking and most certainly are always entertaining. Having this book in my Kindle library was an excellent addition and being able to go back and read one of his short stories again is something I have found myself doing when I only have a small window of time in which to read. There are few other authors whose short fiction I will read again and again and I am happy to have found Carlson's work to add to that exclusive list. A full 5 stars for this book and its great stories!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU LOVE SCIENCE FICTION,, December 11, 2011
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This review is from: Long Eyes (Paperback)
you need to give this guy a try. This new, expanded collection includes the original "Long Eyes", "Pressure", and "Planet of the Sealies" as well as several additional short stories. "Long Eyes" and "Pressure" remain two of my favorite short stories by Mr. Carlson, and in this collection we also are treated to a couple of Julie Beauchain adventures, as well as a monster or two. All the stories have good character development, and the plots are truly original.

I was first introduced to Jeff through his "Plague" trilogy, which made a hell of an impression on me (Who IS this guy I've never heard of before?) The best comparison I can make is to Joe Haldeman's work. If these first novels are any indication, Jeff Carlson will be a Hugo winner before long.
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