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YOU TRY TO HURT ME, BUT I WILL NOT BE HURT
This has 20 stories, of which I loved seven. Most of the rest I did not like. With the exception of Card and Farland, most of these are writers, just getting started in their writing careers and some of them may not have a future as writers. Each story has an afterword, in which the author explains why he/she wrote the previous story. Most of the time, the answer is that it was an assignment for their writing class. My favorites in no particular order were The Moon Calf (David Farland), Cheaters and A Young Man With Prospects (Card), Hats Off (David Luber), To Know All Things That Are In The Earth (James Maxey), Respite (Rachel Ann Dryden) and Taint of Treason (Eric James Stone).
Dryden's story is reminiscent of McCaffrey's' Pern Novels. I believe it was Lubar who wrote in his afterword that short stories should have plots. This would be good advice for many of the other writers. Many did not have plots and a lot were just conversations. I am on record saying that Ender's Game is the best Science Fiction Novel of all time, but I most admit I am getting tired of Card writing about nothing but Ender Game.
The narrators are all professionals and do a good job.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
As to be expected with a collection of short stories by numerous authors, the quality of the stories varied. The stories by Orson Scott Card, especially "Pretty Boy" and "Cheater" were standouts. However be warned that the last two Card stories, "A Young Man with Prospects" and "Ender's Homecoming," are essentially excerpts from "Ender in Exile." Among the non-Card stories, "Respite" and "To Know All Things That are in the Earth" were standouts that made me look for excuses to get more listening time. "Taint of Treason" was interesting, but felt more like a literary exercise than a full story. I'm mixed on "Tabloid Reporter to the Stars," and can imagine it polarizing audiences depending on their reactions to the twist.
The remaining stories ranged from "good" to "so-so." None stood out as "bad," but some, such as "Beats of Seven" did not fit my taste, and made me glad that it was a short story instead of a 20 hour novel.
Overall though I enjoyed having a compilation of short stories. The risk threshold with a short story is low, but the potential payoff is high. As noted above, some did not work out for me, but others were outstanding. Compilations like this are an excellent way to branch out your listening.
An added note: each story featured a short essay by the author describing the creative process for that story. Regardless of my assessment of the story, I found each essay enlightening.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful