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Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change Paperback – April 4, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hot Mess is an excellent early effort at encouraging other adventurous writers to look at what humanity is facing and explore the options."
- Joe Follansbee, joefollansbee.com/2013/11/29/review-hot-mess/

From the Back Cover

Extended review by Mark from The Masquerade Crew:
"All of them stuck to the climate change theme very well. Two of the stories use the theme in a subtle way, and because these two stories--"She Says Goodbye Tomorrow" by Eric Sipple and "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom." by Rachel Lynn Brody--are also written extremely well, they are my favorite, earning 5-stars each.

Of those two, though, I have to say that the star of the show is Eric Sipple's story. It's also the longest of the group, which isn't a bad thing whatsoever; it's actually a good thing. His story grabs you from the first sentence and through a series of shifting scenes doesn't let you go until the end. It's detailed but not too much so. The structure (though confusing at first) actually works quite well; however, I didn't see this fact until long after I finished it, which is another good thing, for he had me thinking about his story long after the last word.

I definitely recommend this anthology if you are concerned about the changing climate of our planet, and even if you aren't, I still recommend it."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475151926
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475151923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,312,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Mark's Review

Reviewing an anthology of short stories written by different authors is a difficult task, for one has to judge theme, writing style, technique, level of editing, and so forth. I came up with the 4-star rating based upon all those criteria. Judging stories individually would have brought a range of scores from 3 stars to 5 stars. A few of the stories did not interest me, or the writing technique bothered me somewhat. One story in particular needed another pass at editing (in my opinion).

However, I want to use the rest of this review to focus on the positive, for there are a lot of good things to say about these stories. For instance, all of them stuck to the climate change theme very well. Two of the stories use the theme in a subtle way, and because these two stories--"She Says Goodbye Tomorrow" by Eric Sipple and "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom." by Rachel Lynn Brody--are also written extremely well, they are my favorite, earning 5-stars each (if I were reviewing them individually).

Of those two, though, I have to say that the star of the show is Eric Sipple's story. It's also the longest of the group, which isn't a bad thing whatsoever; it's actually a good thing. His story grabs you from the first sentence and through a series of shifting scenes doesn't let you go until the end. It's detailed but not too much so. The structure (though confusing at first) actually works quite well; however, I didn't see this fact until long after I finished it, which is another good thing, for he had me thinking about his story long after the last word.

I definitely recommend this anthology if you are concerned about the changing climate of our planet, and even if you aren't, I still recommend it. It's a good read that gets your mental gears turning.
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Format: Paperback
While these stories vary in style and tone in a way that may be surprising, the theme is well maintained throughout. It's not as if the subject matter hasn't been addressed before, but this collection fills a need. This is a great concept that is, for the most part, well realized.

Even if you're a climate skeptic, I have a challenge for you. Spring the small price for the kindle copy and support independent publishing. (I downloaded the free PC reader) Try reading the editors note at the end. Next, read the first story and then tell me you're not affected. Tell me that you can't imagine a modest shift in microclimates or the huge potential consequences for real people that comes with it. Then keep reading.

For skeptics and believers in science alike, that's what this book does. It puts a human face on an issue that can sometimes feel too large to grasp.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Author's disclaimer: I didn't get paid for this, but did receive a free copy of the anthology.

This is a collection of speculative short stories about climate change and its myriad - likely disastrous - results. Overall, it's an interesting collection of styles and genres from scifi to flash-forward to... actually, I'm not sure what genre to call a couple of them. heh. I think there's a high level of writing to be found here and these are all writers that should definitely be supported now and in future endeavors. I'm certainly going to check them all out.

I like this anthology's goal and I think they accomplished it. From it's Editor's Note at the end of the collection: "Our intention with Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change has been to look at the social, human dimensions of climate change: how families, individuals, cities and more can be affected by sudden shifts in environment. We hope you've found the work thought-provoking."

Individually, I found some of the stories better than others and I suppose that's only to be expected. Here's a brief review of each in the order they're placed in the collection. I'm trying not to do any spoilers because if you say too much about a short, you basically give everything away.

"She Says Goodbye Tomorrow"
Eric Sipple
Honestly? I was so damn confused with this short that I had a difficult time figuring out the plot. There were flashbacks within flashbacks (or maybe just switching between events in the woman's life but not noting the dates, I have no idea) and that just didn't work for me. It wasn't until the end of story that I understand what was really going on. The language itself was rich and descriptive, but I had a hard time accessing the main character.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a collection of six short stories. The last two stand out as being truly superb stories, the others are less memorable.

She Says Goodbye Tomorrow, is a piece of dry realism. Decades from now a family is losing their vineyard due to changing weather conditions. Haute Mess is a fancy short piece about an item of clothing. In Between the Dark and the Light is a fairly traditional science fiction story. It reminded me of Yevgeny Zamyatin. Actually I don't think it really has anything to do with climate change at all. After this comes Traditionibus Ne Copulate which is a truly bizarre story set after the demise of the humans, when mice have taken over as the dominant species.

Next up is Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom. I particularly enjoyed this one. It's a little bit like the really good chapter in A Vist From The Goon Squad. The future has a lot of fancy communications and computers, but there's some real problems getting plants to grow. The World Gets Smaller And Things Get Left Behind is set at a time when Venice is underwater. A somewhat philosophical tourist goes diving to see some Botero statues.

Definitely worth a look.
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