Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
miniatures: the very short fiction of john scalzi (John Scalzi)
Title: miniatures: the very short fiction of john scalzi
Author: John Scalzi
Illustrator: Natalie Metzger
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication Date: December 31, 2016 (hardback/e-book)
Okay so it may be no secret to me crew that I am kinda in love with John Scalzi’s novels. He has been featured on a Broadside, had the dispatcher reviewed by both me and the First Mate, and writes a blog called Whatever, that I follow regularly. So when the man himself blogged about the release of this short story collection I knew I wanted to read it. When I was on Netgalley, I happened to see it. Then the publisher happened to grant it to me for readin’. Yay!
Since I am very familiar with the Scalzi writing style, I waited for a day that was rather blah and where I needed a pick-me-up. Cause Scalzi is funny. So the day came and I settled in me bunk for a treat. And I got exactly what I wanted.
Out of the 18 pieces, me top 3 standouts . . .
“Alien Animal Encounters” – Perhaps ye have heard of the those segments where people like Jay Leno do segments like “Jay Walking” where random people on the street are asked the Question of the Week. Well in this story, the question is “What is the most interesting encounter you’ve had with an alien animal species?” This is the first story of the collection and set the tone nicely. Favorite animals included the cat (duh!) and the courou.
“Denise Jones, Superbooker” – Set in the form of a transcript, this story is about a booking agent for super heroes. She answers important questions about super hero secret identities, contracts, and other secrets of the biz. The bit about Bryan Garcia made me happy. There is a related story later in the collection called “The State of Super Villainy” that was fun too.
“Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back” – Security systems, fridges, waffle irons . . . if they could speak what would they report about their owners. ‘Nuff said.
There were a couple of stories that didn’t really float me boat – one about Pluto, one about extortionists, and one about Penelope. And some that were just plain weird Scalzi – like sentient yogurt. But overall Scalzi delivers as usual. Quick and fun.
For another take by me crew member who loved it:
the green onion
So lastly . . .
Thank you Subterranean Press!
Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:
The ex-planet Pluto has a few choice words about being thrown out of the solar system. A listing of alternate histories tells you all the various ways Hitler has died. A lawyer sues an interplanetary union for dangerous working conditions. And four artificial intelligences explain, in increasingly worrying detail, how they plan not to destroy humanity.
Welcome to Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.
These four stories, along with fourteen other pieces, have one thing in common: They’re short, sharp, and to the point—science fiction in miniature, with none of the stories longer than 2,300 words. But in that short space exist entire universes, absurd situations, and the sort of futuristic humor that propelled Scalzi to a Hugo with his novel Redshirts. Not to mention yogurt taking over the world (as it would).
Spanning the years from 1991 to 2016, this collection is a quarter century of Scalzi at his briefest and best, and features four never-before-printed stories, exclusive to this collection: “Morning Announcements at the Lucas Interspecies School for Troubled Youth,” “Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back,” “Important Holidays on Gronghu” and “The AI Are Absolutely Positively Without a Doubt Not Here to End Humanity, Honest.”
To visit the author’s website go to:
John Scalzi – Author
To buy the novel go to:
miniatures – Book
To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List