Book Genre:Science Fiction, Short Stories, Humor
Book Series: N/A
Released: 12/31/16 by Subterranean Press
Pages: 144 Price:$40.00 (!) Hardcover
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review
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.”
I am fairly new to the genius that is John Scalzi. Redshirts was my first introduction, followed by Locked In and I have Old Man’s War signed and waiting for me up on my to-read bookcase. I had an opportunity to met him in Chicago last spring after BEA and am so glad I did. I love this man’s humor and writing style. When this book of short stories popped up for review on Net Galley I put in a request and promptly crossed my fingers in hope that I would be approved. About a week later I received an email that it was waiting for me over on the site! Made. My. Day.
Then life got in the way and having like two months to read this short collection of short stories I put it off for a month before diving in. Most of the stories have been published someplace before and Mr. Scalzi gives us a little intro to each story sharing its inspiration or when in his writing history they came into being. One of them even shares how you can find the story being read by Mr. Scalzi and his friend Wil Wheaton at a library on YouTube. (How delightful! I had to watch it twice.) This is simply a fun little book filled with witty stories from a great mind and I found myself laughing out loud as they brightened my day.
The only drawback to this book that I can see is the price. It is listed as $40 for a hardcover version, but perhaps that will change. I know it would have prevented me from picking up this one no matter how delightful it might be. If it is too much for your budget to absorb I suggest suggesting it to your local library for purchase. If you are a huge fan of Mr. Scalzi, though, and collect everything he has written then this is going to be a fabulous addition to your home library.
My Rating: 5 Stars