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The Baum Plan for Financial Independence: and Other Stories Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press; First edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193152050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,839,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This nuanced mostly reprint collection, the first in a decade from Nebula winner Kessel (Good News from Outer Space), plays on the theme of a hapless, down-on-his-luck man thrown into extraordinary circumstances. "The Juniper Tree," the Tiptree-winning "Stories for Men," "Sunlight or Rock" and "Under the Lunchbox Tree," all tied to Kessel's lunar colony sequence, explore the limits placed on a man's life in a beautiful, woman-dominated city on the barren moon. In "Powerless," the only story original to the volume, a hapless inventor finally perfects a strange new power generator, destroying his relationships along the way. Paying homage to the classics, "Every Angel Is Terrifying" serves as a sequel to Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," while in "Pride and Prometheus" Mary Bennet meets Victor Frankenstein. These well-crafted stories, full of elegantly drawn characters, deliver a powerful emotional punch. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics were all excited to see another anthology from Kessler, even if most of the stories here have already appeared in top science fiction magazines. While some admitted they were at first skeptical of the motif of entering other authors’ worlds, most felt that not only did Kessler pull off these stories with gusto but he did so in such a way that readers can enjoy his tales even if they have not read the original authors. While the Strange Horizons reviewer was not quite as impressed by the work as a whole and cited it as an uneven collection, he also found much to praise, especially in the lunar stories.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

More About the Author

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls John Kessel, "one of the writers capable of bending the tools of science fiction upon the human psyche." In a starred review of his 1997 story collection The Pure Product, Publisher's Weekly said, "Kessel is our American Brian Aldiss, capable of the most artful and rigorous literary composition, but with a mischievous genius that inclines him toward speculative fiction . . . he writes with subtlety and great wit . . . plus, his sense of comedy is remarkable."

A writer of erudite comic and satiric short fiction, Kessel received the Nebula Award for his early novella "Another Orphan", a fantasy about a commodities broker who awakes one morning to find himself trapped in the novel Moby Dick, and more recently for "Pride and Prometheus", in which Mary Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice meets Mary Shelley's Victor Frankenstein. His short fiction has been collected in three volumes, Meeting In Infinity (which contains "Another Orphan"), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence (which contains "Pride and Prometheus").

Kessel has published three novels: Freedom Beach (with James Patrick Kelly), Good News from Outer Space, and Corrupting Dr. Nice, which writer Kim Stanley Robinson has called, "the best time travel novel ever written."

Kessel's story "A Clean Escape" was dramatized as the first episode of the 2007 ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction, starring Sam Waterston and Judy Davis. Though he's taken time out to write plays and perform a role in the independent film "The Delicate Art of the Rifle," Kessel teaches literature and creative writing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Dobie on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall a very strong collection of stories. The most interesting stories are the four set in a moon colony controlled by a matriarchal society known as the Cousins where there are almost no sexual taboos and men are "freed" to use their skills in the arts and sciences in exchange for not being allowed to own any significant property and being excluded from governing. It is an interesting society that seems to have many of the same flaws as our current society, but with a different spin. Other strong stories are "Powerless", "The Last American", "It's All True" and "Pride and Prometheus".

The downside of the book is that also all the stories are well-written and kept my interest, some of them such as the title story just seemed to end without much of a conclusion or a real point that I could see.
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes variety is the spice of life. "The Baum Plan for Financial Independence: And Other Stories" is a short story collection not limiting itself to a single genre. From the seductive relationships of people of questionable virtue, to encounters with Frankenstein, to Matriarchal lunar colonies, it's a collection with something for fiction readers of every genre. A highly recommended addition for personal reading lists and community library collections, "The Baum Plan for Financial Independence" is ideal reading for anyone looking for a very special series of stories, each one a uniquely crafted tale showcasing John Kessel's storytelling talent.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
A collection that is in the main, science fiction. There are 14 stories, which is a considerable number for a single-author book, so room for some variety, with excursions into fantasy, Frankenstein crossover pastiche, whacky, and even mainstream reptile loving.

The strength of this work is in the section the author calls "A Lunar Quartet": --The Juniper Tree --Stories for Men --Under the Lunchbox Tree --Sunlight or Rock, and the first two are the two best, and excellent tales.

Overall, a good quality group of stories, averaging 3.57.

Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Baum Plan for Financial Independence [short story] - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Every Angel Is Terrifying - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Red Phone - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Invisible Empire - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Juniper Tree - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Stories for Men - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Under the Lunchbox Tree - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Sunlight or Rock - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Snake Girl - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : It's All True - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : The Last American - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Downtown - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Powerless - John Kessel
Baum Plan for Financial Independence : Pride and Prometheus - John Kessel

Magic money.

3 out of 5

Dead cat, not people?

3.
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