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4.6 out of 5 stars13
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on November 9, 2011
In the spirit of complete disclosure, I know Daryl Gregory from seeing him at science fiction conventions, and I was asked to write a blurb for the book, which I gladly did. It's an amazing work.

I first read the opening story in this book, "Second Person, Present Tense," several years ago. I've been using it in my high school Science Fiction class as one or our texts since then. It's an honest, heart-rending look at the world from a teenager's point of view, and at the same time is a kick-ass exploration of how a future drug might effect how our brain works. In other words, the perfect science fiction. High school kids who don't like to read, like this story, and kids who didn't think they liked science fiction, like this story. That's quite a feat for an author to pull off that double whammy.

The rest of the stories are profound in their own ways. I particularly liked "Persistence" and "The Continuing Adventures of Rocket Boy."

Highly recommended. This is one of my favorite books of the year.
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on November 13, 2011
This is a fantastic collection. Gregory has a natural ability to bring honesty and heart to fantasy stories, something difficult to pull off. Whether it's the racing of demon-powered cars, a superhero sidekick enacting his revenge, or a nostalgic trip back to a time of rocket building and Super 8 movie making, Gregory makes the stories about his characters, not the worlds they live in. Not a bad story in the bunch, but entirely worth buying just to read "Second Person, Present Tense." Oh, and come on, the guy ends one story with the word "unstubbable." How many times in your life are you going to see that? But this now.
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on April 8, 2015
I was so excited after reading Devil's Alphabet and Pandemonium. This cover got me too.
I liked most of the stories, but I was looking for the weirdness I found in the above mentioned. Not that there was not enough weird to be found. I suppose I enjoy character development too much for short stories. So, I admit to it being my own failure and will go on reading everything else he's written because there is no one like him.
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on May 17, 2014
I confess that I love Daryl Gregory's work, long and short. The stories in this collection are vaguely connected around themes ranging from superheroes to neurobiology, self centered-ness to wholly others, "shock and awe" to empathy. I could not point to a favorite, all are startling and original and a written in a voice that is both singular and multifaceted.
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on June 30, 2015
One of my fave short story collections, from an author who masterfully weaves horror, fantasy, and science fiction, as well humor and tension. I think my absolute favorite piece in this collection is "Unpossible"; it has a weirdly wonderful, magical realist, dreamlike quality and is about adults trying to recapture the magic of their childhood, but treading in places they shouldn't. Horror fans will appreciate some of his other stories—you will squirm in your seat. And there's a funny superhero story that will have you shooting milk out of your nose. Get this book!
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on February 16, 2016
Daryl Gregory is one of the best science fiction writers I've read. His story telling is brilliant and he sets forth challenging ideas about the fundamentals of everything – society, religion, politics, race relations, space, time, the destiny of man, our place in the universe, the list goes on and on. Several of the short stories in this book formed the basis for full blown novels, so if you're unsure about reading one of his novels, read this and you'll get an excellent sampling of his talent.
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on December 24, 2014
Gregory's style is compelling. Each story seems to unfold with a cinematographer's "zoom-in-zoom-out" technique, which effectively captures the attention of the reader when he zooms back in. Some pieces feel inspired (but never imitative) by masters such as Bradbury, and others are strictly his own. However, what I find most fascinating is Gregory's delicate handling of theology and our own interaction, or lack thereof, with God and with ourselves.

And save the story notes for the end! It's far more fun to read the stories behind the stories and understand their chronology after you've read the entire collection.
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on May 2, 2014
I really enjoy this authors sensibilities. He isn't afraid to mesh sci fi with fantasy and super heroes with real emotional implication. Thus far my favorite is either raising stony mayhall, or pandemonium. This is a brilliant collection of short stories that should sway you if you are on the fence.
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on March 27, 2012
This masterful collection throws the hemispheres of your brain into conflict--you want to slow down to savor the artful language yet race ahead to gobble up the plot. Gregory guns the momentum with fast-forward gaps in the narrative structure that never leave you behind. Rather these stories slingshot you to childlike delight even while you'll finish them smarter, more mature, more weighted with wisdom than you knew you could be. I admire the heck out of this book.

The opening sequence of the title piece, "Unpossible," accomplishes visceral immediacy: "somewhere in the dark a mirror or storm window smashes. The noise doesn't matter. There's no one in the house below him to disturb," the face of the compass is "scuffed white but uncracked," "the weight of the bike drags him down the attic stairs."

"He pays no attention to street names; he looks away when signs appear in his headlights." Who does that? Why? I was hooked on the first page, but with this line, on about the third page, Gregory sank the barb deeper.

"The road ahead doesn't exist until it appears under his headlights; he's driving a plow of light through the dark." Darn it. I wish I'd written that.

A car crash careers us out of what's left of the norm, "jouncing across ground. He bounces against the roof, ragdolling, unable to hold . . ." never mind the rest of this sentence. The word "ragdolling" just convinced me that by the time I was finished reading this story, I'd be in a fit of envy. (And I was.)

A bittersweet ending, swiftly trimmed of any maudlin fat, leaves you "somewhere between UNFAMILIAR and UNKNOWN," which pretty much nails the marvel of this collection.

It isn't possible to regret buying Unpossible.
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on January 6, 2013
This isn't a review of the book which so far is fantastic but rather an indictment of the ridiculous limitations placed on this edition. Namely you can't actually read the Kindle edition on a Kindle. I'd initially bought this book from my phone but then when I switched to my real Kindle with the great e-ink display this edition wouldn't download because it isn't compatible - Amazon are you kidding me?. The only reason I've put up with Kindle DRM so far is because it really wasn't a problem, I could read what I bought on any of my devices but that appears to no longer be the case, very misleading.
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