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Tails of the Apocalypse Kindle Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I love dystopian fiction, and I love animals, so when I heard about this book, I made a giant WOOP WOOP sound or something like it. There is a nice variety of animal types represented in this book, although a lot of the stories deal specifically with dogs, or a dog. Some of the animals are pets, but many are not.
Usually when I review an anthology, I like to mention the various titles included, and just a little bit about each. But since there are 14 stories here, what I strongly recommend is that you take a minute or two and click the “LOOK INSIDE” arrow for this book. You will see the names of all the stories, their authors, and if you go just a bit further, you will find a brief synopsis of each story. It will answer many of your questions about whether or not you think this book is something you will enjoy. Here are my opinions:
By the time I finished the first story, I was already in love with this book. By the second, I loved it even more. And it continued that way. More toward the center of the book, there were a series of stories that seemed to be written almost as a “prequel” to something else their authors had already written. I found I didn't enjoy those stories as much. It seemed there was so much devoted to setting up the fantasy world from their series, that the emphasis on the individual animal was a little lost into the background. I grew a little discouraged. (Note: that is not true of all of them that are associated with a series. Some of them were excellent!) Then after that interlude of stories about which I had mixed feelings, more fantastic stories came up. Some of the stories had really moving endings, and I will remember them for awhile. There were a few I liked so much that I have looked into other writings by the authors of those particular stories.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “The Poetry of Santiago”. It's a beautiful story, and it's the only one about a cat. I'm a cat person so that probably played into my choice. But there were many stories I could put in the list of contenders for my favorite!
Another thing I liked about this book is that the world situation in each story was so very different. They were all dystopian, but the circumstances varied widely. This is a great book to discover many different authors in this genre and the types of stories they write. Everyone has their own different tastes, and there will be some you love, some you like, and a few maybe not so much. But there is enough great writing in this book to make it extremely worthwhile. The fact that a portion of its proceeds go to such a worthy cause make it a “must” addition to your library if you love dystopian themes. Thanks so much to all these wonderful authors for these stories and the work that went into pulling this book together!
In any anthology, there are usually a couple of great stories, and the remaining selections I like, or not, to different degrees. In this case, I enjoyed every story in the book. I can’t pick a favorite, or even two or three of them. There’s a couple I wouldn’t read a second time, but none of them that I would rate less than four stars. All of them are well done and entertaining. The authors took care to make the animals the stars of their stories, and the result is a book any animal lover can enjoy. Excellent reading for everyone.
I've never had a bird either and so I found "Pet Shop" by Deirdre Gould interesting. I cannot say if the portrayal of the unwanted parrot named Surly Shirley is accurate, but I hope that it would be in the situation described.
In a similar manner, the story of the hunting falcon chick Kael, in "Kael Takes Wing" by E. E. Giorgi. was also enjoyable,especially because I have enjoyed reading the author's other works in the Mayake Chronicles. Could a bird be afraid of flying? You'll want to read this story and find out.
Never fear, there are also stories that include "man's best friend" , including "Kristy's Song" by Michael Bunker. This story is set in the world of New Pennsylvania. Kristy (the dog) helps her best friend make contraband runs into and out of New Detroit - in a war torn world. Another one is "Unconditional" by Chris Pourteau. Warning, this tale about the love of a dog for his friend, a boy, will tung at your heart. The collection also starts off with a story about the dependency between a man and his dog in "The Water Finder's Shadow" by David Bruns. The man is Polluk and the dog is Shadow. Polluck is a water finder in a world where water is hard to find, but his skills have dwindled, but Shadow has gained those skills. What will happen to Polluck when Shadow is no longer alive?
These are just a few of the excellent stories about animals, some domestic and some wild but all enjoyable.