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The Metrognome and Other Stories Mass Market Paperback – July 14, 1990

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Forget what you thought you knew about the universe and enter the fantastic world of master storyteller Alan Dean Foster . . .
OPERATOR ASSISTED CALLS ARE CHARGED AT A HIGHER RATE. Mr. Parkworthy had a score to settle with the telephone company, and he was a man used to getting his own way. But he should have remembered that it is not polite to be rude to a lady . . . especially when the lady is Ma Bell.
THE METROGNOME. Charlie Dimsdale was only a little man in the company that ran New York City's subways . . . until some odd little denizens of the city's subterranean tunnels showed him who was really in charge!
THE TESSELATED TETRAHEXAHEDRAL YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS. Country people in America are a fair but mighty independent bunch. So when some government scientists rudely demanded that the Shattucks turn over the UFO that crashed on their Texas ranch, the Shattucks became a bit obstinate. Besides, the shining little spacecraft looked real cute hanging on the barn with the Christmas decorations.
COLLECTIBLE. When young Pearl's life was collapsing around her, she could always find comfort in her extensive collection of dragon memorabilia -- but some youngsters are more fragile than others, and dragons can be deadly.
Plus eleven more stories!

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (July 14, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345363566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345363565
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,590,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Dean Foster's work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as "Star Wars", the first three "Alien" films, "Alien Nation", and "The Chronicles of Riddick". Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first "Star Trek" movie. His novel "Shadowkeep" was the first ever book adapation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel "Cyber Way" won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so.

Foster's sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. His published oeuvre includes more than 100 books.

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By J. W. Kennedy on January 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fifteen short stories in a pocket-sized paperback of only 243 pages. Yeah, these stories are SHORT. All of them are "clever" but none of them strike me as being very good. They're abrupt, rough, more like story _ideas_ than actual finished stories. The plot twists are too convenient, the dialogue too facile ... of course, every writer controls events within the story in order to have things turn out the way they are supposed to. But a GOOD writer will make you believe it "just happened that way." These stories feel forced. I think Alan Dean Foster is probably much better in novels, where the long form gives him room to really stretch and develop his characters & concepts. These shorts are mildly amusing but ultimately not satisfying.

It may be a symptom of the time in which they were written (copyright date 1990) and the fact that I was in high school when this collection came out, but this really feels like a collection of high-school writing. No .. to be fair, this is a lot better than high-school writing .. but I still get that impression. It's probably just the whole 1980s vibe which is making it difficult for me to respect this work.

I'm also mystified by the cover art. The bikini-clad alien babe wading in a tranquil lake ... she has absolutely NOTHING to do with any of the stories in the book. Where did she come from?

Anyway, this book is a thoroughly ho-hum artifact from the late heyday of science-fiction publishing, notable only because it bears the name of an otherwise well-respected author in the field. I see that used copies are selling on Amazon for a penny. As long as you don't expect too much, you can't really go wrong at that price.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I haven't read this book in a while, but it was one of my favourite books in high school; I seem to remember my brother recommending it to me. It's a well written collection of short stories; about all I remember about it that it was entertaining from cover to cover.
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