- File Size: 1254 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: UFO Publishing (December 16, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 16, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00APOHL08
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Unidentified Funny Objects (Unidentified Funny Objects Annual Anthology Series of Humorous SF/F Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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To start off with the stories I didn't really like: James Beamon's Fight Finale from the Near Future and Michael Kurland's Go Karts of the Gods. The former, a satire on superhero comics, just felt too over the top and in your face, even if I can appreciate the point it makes about gender and sexism. The latter spoofs these cult-like lifestyle cons that promise the moon and the stars but in reality are nothing but a money scam. It shows us the patter of someone trying to 'convert' people to the cause, but I just didn't find it funny. It was chaotic and all over the place and it drew more annoyance than laughs. Stephen D. Rogers' My Kingdom for a Horse has a far funnier take on the sales patter, having what in our world would have been a used-car salesman try and sell a horse to a king. I think what both of the stories had in common - and what put me off - is that they really go over the top in their commitment to their spoofing and overshot their mark, in my opinion.
Three stories that did hit the spot were: K.G. Jewell's The Day They Repossessed My Zombies, Leah Cypress' The Fifty-One Suitors of Princess Jamatpie, and Mike Resnick's El and Al vs. Himmler's Horrendous Horde from Hell. Jewell's story is one of the few zombie stories I've actually enjoyed. It was terribly fun, with a great resolution and main character. Besides, zombie slaves kept occupied by watching Teletubbies. . . Somehow that doesn't surprise me. Cypress' story about a princess overwhelmed by her suitors' attempts to gain her favour and how she tricks them to get out of it was very cool. It might have had extra resonance for me as Emma is going through her princess phase and I've been watching Disney Princess films far too often the past few weeks! Mike Resnick is always a solid bet and this story was no different. I'm mostly familiar with his work through Escape Pod and PodCastle, where his work often brings a tear, but here he went for the laughs and got them. I loved El, short for Eleanor Roosevelt, and Al, short for Albert Einstein. The writing is vivid and it read like a comic in prose form.
There were two stories that I liked so much, that I would love to see more work set in those universes. The first is Jamie Lackey's First Date, which was very sweet and a little Buffy in its playful tone. Josh and Leanne were very likeable protagonists and I would love to see more of them. The second was Jody Lynn Nye's Worm's eye View. I found it very funny and in addition it was a police story, so I was bound to enjoy it. However, I really liked the idea Nye worked out in the host/guest link between the humans and the Salosians and the ways they communicated. I'd love to see a more-realised universe around this concept and see what kind of consequences and effects such a bond would have on both the individuals involved and their loved ones.
Overall, I had a good time with Unidentified Funny Objects, but then again with names such as Mike Resnick, Jody Lynn Nye, Ken Liu, Sergey Lukyanenko, and Stephanie Burgis among others I hadn't expected less. Shvartsman delivers a wonderful anthology and if you want to broaden your humorous SFF reading, Unidentified Funny Objects is a great place to start.
This book was provided for review by the editor.
I think there's definitely something in this collection for everyone, no matter what your sense of humor. The comics are a nice addition I wasn't expecting, although my one complaint is that they're awfully hard to read on the Kindle edition. Luckily, I have a print edition, as well, so I can see them there.
I was just looking at the table of contents to see if I could pick a favorite. Harder than I thought.
"El and Al vs. Himmler's Horrendous Horde from Hell" by Mike Resnick is definitely in the top few. Resnick is one of the masters of short fiction, and this story kept me giggling throughout. Just imagine Albert Einstein as a wizard fighting Himmler...and you still don't really come close. You need to read it.
I also really enjoyed "The Alien Invasion As Seen In The Twitter Stream of @dweebless" by Jake Kerr. If you're on Twitter, you'll doubly appreciate the humor.
"The Velveteen Golem" by David Sklar also satisfied by providing an entirely hilarious story that surprised me at the end with a deplorable (meaning really good, in this case) word pun, that I should have seen coming but didn't.
I think of all of them, Jody Lynn Nye's "The Worm's Eye View" and Ferrett Steinmetz's "One-Hand Tantra" were my favorites. Nye's story is a good hard sci-fi story that manages to weave humor into it in a way that doesn't detract from the science fiction. Kudos to her for that.
Steinmetz's story...ah, what I can say about this that won't get me banned from Amazon? :) "Hilarious!" That works. I mean, who knew masturbation could be a magical power?
You'll definitely find something here to tickle your funny bone.