- File Size: 1589 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Baen Books; 1 edition (March 7, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 7, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MYGVCN3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,075 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Little Green Men—Attack! Kindle Edition
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What is my definition of success, you may ask?
(You can skip this part if you have read any of my previous short story compilation reviews.)
To me, a short story compilation is akin to one of those giant bags of mixed candy you buy for Halloween. Some of what you get are your favorite kind, some are really good (just not your favorites), some are OK (but still candy, so pretty darn good), and some are awful because you can’t stand the flavor but you know other people love them anyway. And occasionally it includes one or two kinds of candy even the kids won’t touch.
With that in mind, I consider any short story collection to be a success if at least 3 or 4 stories fall into the first two categories of favorite or really good, and one (or better, none) fall into the even the kids won’t touch it category.
Little Green Men—Attack! was a definite success. 18 of the 19 stories were either favorites or really good. Eight were favorites. This is a new record for me.
None of the stories were in the “Even the kids won’t touch it” or the “I can’t stand the flavor” pile.
My favorite stories were “Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye, “Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry, “A Cuppa Cuppa Burnin’ Love” by Esther Friesner, “Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes, “The Game-a-holic’s Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” by Peter J. Wacks and Josh Vogt, “The March of the Little Green Men” by James Gunn, “First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman, and “The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey.
Highly recommended. If you need a reality break, a good laugh, or some fine sarcasm, go buy this book.
For many of these stories, too much of a review would ruin the story. So here are some spoiler-free short thoughts on each story:
“The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort Of” by Mike Resnick 4 stars
“Little (Green) Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rush 4 stars
More stories narrated by J-May, please!
Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry 5 stars
“Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes 5 stars
Wonderful. This could explain a lot.
“Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye 5 stars
My favorite story.
“School Colors” by Seanan McGuire 4 stars
The price of fame? Well done.
“Meet the Landlord” by Martin L. Shoemaker 4 stars
Always read the fine print.
“Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H. Silver 4 stars
Perspective is everything.
“The Green, Green Men of Home” by Selina Rosen 4 stars
“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato 3 stars
Nice but one twist too many.
“The Game-a-holic’s Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” 5 stars
by Peter J. Wacks and Josh Vogt
Excellent gaming story.
“Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele 4 stars
Librarians for the win.
“A Greener Future” by Elizabeth Moon 4 stars
“A Cuppa Cuppa Burnin’ Love” by Esther Friesner 5 stars
Love and coffee. What more do you need?
“Little Green Guys” by K.C. Ball 4 stars
Love the character.
“The March of the Little Green Men” by James E. Gunn 5 stars
The perfect last line.
“First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman 5 stars
All those signals did go somewhere.
“Hannibal’s Elephants.” by Robert Silverberg 4 stars
We all know what happens when we make assumptions.
“The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey 5 stars
This was the almost perfect last line.
There are some themes that recur (for instance, the idea that aliens learn what they know of Earth from our television transmissions or aliens who think looking like cats will help them conquer the Earth), but even so the stories are very individual. Some are gut-laugh funny, others are whimsical. Some are subtle, some are slapstick.
To mention a few favorites:
"Little Green Guys" by K.C. Ball. Given my love for "Guys & Dolls" and for Damon Runyon in general, how could I not love this Runyon-esque Roswell alien landing story? Really, how could I not wish I had written it? Absolutely my favorite story in the anthology. Great voice, great fun.
"Stuck In Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind" by Ken Scholes starts out as a "shipwrecked" type of tale, with music as the tool that crosses cultural divides -- almost too well. Again, great voice, great subtle jokes, and a bit of a heart-tugger.
"School Colors" by Seanan McGuire. This is not the first story McGuire has written featuring the Johnson's Crossing Fighting Pumpkins Cheerleaders, but it might now be my favorite. Cheerleaders from Earth versus cheerleaders from an alien world? Cool.
"A Fine Night For Tea and Bludgeoning" by Beth Cato. Victorian setting, confused aliens, and proto-roller-derby of a sort. Again, another great character voice. Cato is fully in her element.
"Big White Men -- Attack!" by Steven H. Silver gives us a look at the Armstrong/Aldrin moon landing from a very different, and much closer-to-the-ground, perspective. Fun.
I could go on: every story in the book has something to recommend it. Definitely worth seeking out!
I learned of the anthology when Martin Shoemaker read his short story "Meet the Landlord." In it, humans have colonized Mars and 30-some years after that "Martians" show up looking for back rent. It was hilarious. Most of the stories were funny, although in "First Million Contacts" the joke was on the humans. In every anthology, there's a story that's the exception to the rule, which in this case was Steven H. Silver's "Big White Men - Attack!" in which the green dust kicked up by Armstrong an Aldrin on the moon isn't dust at all.
This is the third anthology that I've read which was assembled by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, and I've enjoyed them all. Schmidt is becoming a mark of quality for me, and I recommend his stuff.
My favorite stories included "School Colors" by Seanan McGuire, "First Million Contacts" by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman, "Stuck in Buenos Aires with Bob Dylan on My Mind" by Ken Scholes, "A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin’ Love" by Esther M. Friesner, "Day of the Bookworm" by Allen M. Steele, and "A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning" by Beth L. Cato. These are just my favorites, though. With only a couple exceptions, I loved all the stories in this anthology, and the two I didn't love were still good.