- File Size: 1209 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Spotlight Publishing (January 23, 2012)
- Publication Date: January 23, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0075C4NM2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
InterGalactic Medicine Show Awards Anthology, Vol. I Kindle Edition
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"Trinity County, CA" is an almost-buddy-film kind of story that starts out slow. And confusing. A lot of terms are thrown around that make sense later (and add depth to the beginning if you re-read it) but come across as a mess of jargon when you first meet the characters. However, if you can fight through that (it doesn't last long) the story picks up pretty well, especially after you figure out what it is the main characters do. And boy, oh, boy, is that a fun ride! Lots of action and a great fight/battle scene, not to mention an intelligent sidekick, made me smile by the end.
"Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain" starts out great, with a gun-toting nun and a cyborg canine who sounds like one of the dogs from the Pixar film Up. It turns out that the Apocalypse has come. Well, actually, all of them have come at once, from that impending ice age and giant ants to zombies and cell-phone induced madness. There's a whole list of things to survive. The humor doesn't stop in this story and neither does the action. The android, Caper Williams, Girl Detective, and her psychic spider "muppetbot" made me laugh out loud.
"The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived" is a heartbreaking examination of the power of grief and what people are willing to do to bring back the ones they love, as seen through the eyes of a "body". It's good. I really felt the pain of the "body" who only wanted a chance to find herself.
I wanted to like "The American". It starts out beautifully, but after a while the lack of information, far from creating a sense of mystique, only made me confused. The ending tries, and nearly succeeds, in being inspirational. It's a good ending. Looking back, I think it's a good story. And yet, I kept wanting something more after it finished.
Those are my thoughts on the prize winners. In the extra stories, my favorites included:
* "Silent as Dust" - a very good non-ghost story that I feel should have stayed that way.
* "The End-of-the-World Pool" - A story about friendship and dares that turn out more dangerous than they appear on the surface. It's the kind of story I hope my boys will read when they're older.
* "Beautiful Winter" - a lovely fantasy (romance?) that seems to be inspired by the fairy tale, The Twelve Months, but with far fewer tasks.
* "Mean-spirited" - This story is twisted. Sick, even. And yet, somehow, I love it, the ending especially.
* "Aim for the Stars" - Beautiful.
I'm really glad I bought this for my Kindle app.
The four award winners: "Trinity County, CA" is a science fiction story from famed fantasist Peter S. Beagle, most noted for The Last Unicorn and A Fine and Private Place. Set in an alternate northern California where law enforcement must deal not only with pot farms and meth labs but also with illicit breeders of fire-breathing dragons, the story is exciting but neither very original nor too substantial. "Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain" by Van Carr is a parody of post-apocolyptic SF, which veers between truly funny and merely silly. Bruce Worden's "The American" is an elegiac piece of SF, set in a future Europe dominated by a United States which has become both all-powerful and inscrutable to outsiders.
My favorite of the four award winners is Keffy R.M. Kehrl's moving and thought-provoking "The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived," which both depicts the pain of its characters and explores the philosophical implications of biotechnology.
The other stories are a varied, but overall excellent lot: James Maxey's ghostless haunted-house story, "Silent as Dust"; Scott M. Roberts' "The End-of-the World Pool," a piece of horror fiction which also sensitively explores childhood friendships; Eugie Foster's "Beautiful Winter," a re-telling of a Russian folk tale;
"The Never Never Wizard of Appachicola" by Jason Sanford, which updates African-American voodoo folklore to the space age; Althea Kontis's "Blood and Water," a contemporary take on the mermaid myth; and Edmund R. Schubert's aptly-named "Mean Spirited," a semi-funny semi-horrifying story of love gone bad.
The best of the bunch, for me, were "A Heretic by Degrees" by Marie Brennan, the first genuinely __original__ high fantasy I have read in years, and one which should be expanded into a novel; "Horus Ascending" by Aliette de Bodard, told from the point of view of a sentient Artifical Intelligence; Eric James Stone's odd blend of fantasy and hard SF, "The Robot Sorceror," which features the anthology's second sentient AI; and Tom Pendergrass's genuinely moving "Aim for the Stars," in which a derelict in a homeless shelter may or may not posess the greatest scientific secret of all time.
This anthology has humor, horror, science fiction, fantasy-- and lots of great writing. Highly recommended.
When I read the 2011 Hugo packet, I found myself saying that I really didn't want to live in any of the worlds they were writing about. IGMS, is a world I will definitely visit again.
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And I have to write 6 more words before I can submit. Oh, I just did.