Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian (Daw Book Collectors) Hardcover – August 5, 2003
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
From Publishers Weekly
This dazzling, highly original anthology, ignited by the meeting of songwriter Ian and a host of SF writers affected by her music at the 2001 Worldcon, showcases 30 mostly superior stories, each based on one of her songs. Some contributors take Ian at her word that science fiction is "the jazz of prose," responding to many of society's sharpest wounds with bittersweet improvisatory descants, like Terry Bisson in "Come Dance with Me," David Gerrold in "Riding Janis" and Orson Scott Card in "Inventing Lovers on the Phone," tales that probe the angst of adolescence. Spider Robinson, in "You Don't Know My Heart," like Gerrold in "Riding Janis," deals with the societal rejection gays and lesbians often face; "Immortality," by Robert J. Sawyer, and "Society's Stepchild," by Susan R. Matthews, respond to Ian's poignant "Society's Child," a plea for genuine racial tolerance; Stephen Baxter's "All in a Blaze" and Nancy Kress's brilliant "EJ-ES" confront the pain of aging; and several alternative-world tales, especially Harry Turtledove's powerful "Joe Steele" and Howard Waldrop's "Calling Your Name," explore the entrapment of the individual by sociopolitical forces engendered by materialism. The entire anthology seems to vibrate with the death throes of one world passing away, while far stranger ones struggle to be born. Their commonality, Ian tells us in her introduction, is that "They have heart. They have life. They have truth." No artist-nor any reader-could ask for more.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The undercurrent here is mutual admiration. Coeditor Ian, the socially conscious singer-songwriter whose greatest hit was the 1960s interracial dating anthem "Society's Child," is a longtime sf fan who, at Anne McCaffrey's urging, started attending the annual World Science Fiction Conference and met several of her literary heroes, many of whom liked her work as much as she did theirs. So coeditor Resnick proposed asking them to create stories inspired by Ian's songs. Some pretty big names responded, maybe not with their best-ever stories, but hardly with junk. Kage Baker's historical chiller, "Nightmare Mountain," would sit as honorably in Gathering the Bones (reviewed in this issue). David Gerrold's sketch of impending puberty in space, "Riding Janis," is also the premier hard-sf entry. Diane Duane's creepy essay in art criticism, "Hopper Painting," proves the most stylish contribution, but Howard Waldrop's golden oldies nightmare, "Calling Your Name," and Harry Turtledove's worst-case scenario for the American 1930s, "Joe Steele," are stylish, too, though very differently. Stars are supposed to entertain; here they live up to expectations. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I actually have 2 copies of the book, one hard cover and one kindle. I recommend it 100%
1. You can hear Janis, herself, read the introduction and one of her own stories.
2. You can hear professional audiobook readers (some, like John Rubenstein, are well known actors) read the others.
3. There are about 31 stories here.
4. The two CDs in the package the MP3 files and the total running time is 20hours and 38 minutes! (Yes, you read that right) and the list price is under $15.00 (less than a single Janis Ian music CD). Talk about great value.
I will admit that I've just started the audiobook - and it will be a while before I can find time to listen to it all. But I love what I've heard so far.
If I have one complaint about this audio package from Brilliance it is that there is no index or listing of the stories or the authors. It's not on the package cover or inside and all the tracks (the MP3 files) just have a number (no words). It would have been helpful if Brilliance had included a .pdf of the stories and authors on the CDs. I didn't see any.
So if you want to hear these stories come "alive" and hear Janis' own voice (among others), I can recommend this audio version. (By the way, I also recommend the audio version of Janis' autobiography, which I reviewed last year on Amazon. I actually read the book too, but the audio version impressed me more.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.