Tag: short stories

May 07

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Audio Books, Science, Science Fiction 7

Howdy Howdy, Bookworms!

I’ve been on a bit of a sci/fi kick lately, haven’t I? I hope you’re not sick of it yet, because a few weeks ago I saw that Ray Bradbury’s classic The Martian Chronicles was available on audio through my library. Since I’d just listened to The Martian (review) and Packing for Mars (review), I thought it would be fun to compare their depictions of Mars. Ooooh the entertainment!

martianchroniclesIn fairness to Ray Bradbury, he wrote The Martian Chronicles in the late 1940s. Man had not yet landed on the moon, let alone poked around on Mars. I can’t be tooooo hard on him for his depiction of a Mars full ‘o Martians, can I? Plus, it kind of reminded me of a bunch of old school Twilight Zone episodes. Still, though. Some of the things that happen in this book from a scientific perspective are kind of laughable. I mean, humans are fine to breathe Martian air, it’s just “a bit thin.” After hearing Mary Roach’s glorious explanations of all things science and Mark Watney’s misadventures, I had a hard time imagining Martian air as roughly equivalent to hanging out at high altitudes. Also amusing is the unabashed speediness of travel between Earth and Mars in this novel. It’s not QUITE a commuter flight, but it’s getting there.

Of course, as usual, I’ve digressed. Bradbury had some very cool and very creepy ideas of how alien life would react to earthly invaders. The book is actually a collection of short stories, so it’s difficult for me to discuss it without spoiling any one of them. I will say that NOBODY likes chicken pox, telepathy is kind of freaky, and people can be awful to each other regardless of their planetary address.

The Martian Chronicles is a good, entertaining read, particularly if you’re in a Mars mood. Your snarky inner armchair scientist will get a chuckle out of it, too!

Tell me something, Bookworms. If colonizing another planet were a legit possibility, do you think you’d ever consider making the big move? (Can you even IMAGINE what your mother would say?! LOL)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 20

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

Contemporary Fiction, short stories 10

Greetings Bookworms,

It’s not every day that Margaret Atwood releases a new book, but believe you me, when those days come, they are delightful. I recently had the opportunity to read Atwood’s latest release, a volume of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. *I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for review consideration. Any and all gushing that follows will be the result of unabashed Atwood fandom, and NOT because I got the book for free. I’d totally have paid for it, suckers!*

stonemattressMargaret Atwood is a magical Canadian wordsmith. I like to imagine her traipsing through forests, communing with birds, and being inspired to put words together. She might be part fairy, I’m still trying to figure out her supernatural lineage.

Y’all know short stories aren’t usually my jam, but I make all sorts of exceptions when it comes to Atwood. I went into Stone Mattress: Nine Tales with unreasonably high expectations. Because ATWOOD.

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales presents nine short stories. Some of them are related to one another, some are related to her earlier works (you should have heard me SQUEAL when I saw “I Dream of Zenia With the Bright Red Teeth.” I geeked out over The Robber Bride connection.) I found this collection innovative and refreshing. A number of the stories are told from the perspective of the elderly, which I found fascinating. She’s also got the occasional psychopath and genetic anomaly to round out the set. Darkly humorous, disturbing, and utterly delicious. If you love Atwood but aren’t sure about short stories, take the leap! You’ll be glad you did.

Talk to me Bookworms! Have you ever been so overwhelmed by an author’s talent that you’ve secretly (or not-so-secretly) suspected supernatural influences? I can’t be the only one here. These words couldn’t be created by mere mortals!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Feb 21

You Sure Are Lookin' Good: Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde

Fairy Tales 26

What big eyes you have, Bookworms!

How much have you been digging Project Fairy Tale? I lot, I assume. I mean, it has been, for lack of a better word, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The latest addition to my Little Red Riding Hood repertoire is a collection of short stories by Vivian Vande Velde. Cloaked in Red takes Little Red Riding Hood and morphs her from fairy tale victim to feisty vixen (and I totally don’t mean that in a dirty way. You would be shocked at the amount of hits I’ve gotten that were looking for porn.)

I'm so pleased that Triple V decided to use the good old Crayola "red" instead of the more dramatic "crimson" or "scarlet."

I’m so pleased that Triple V decided to use the good old Crayola “red” instead of the more dramatic “crimson” or “scarlet.”

People, I kind of adored this book. I started cracking up during the introduction and loved all the quirky ways Little Red was depicted. The traditional Little Red Riding Hood is the embodiment of all these LAME female stereotypes. She’s super naive, she’s easily distracted, and she’s has all the common sense of a cotton headed ninny muggins. I mean, SHE CAN’T TELL HER GRANNY FROM A WOLF for crying out loud!

Vande Velde was all “um, no.” And then she made Little Red Riding Hood cool in a bunch of different ways. Every trick Vande Velde employed was delightful. Little Red outsmarts the Woodsman. Little Red turns the Woodsman into a frog. Granny rescues a wolf from a trap and takes her home. Little Red is not a hapless victim in any of these stories! She’s empowered and intelligent and occasionally magical.

redecard2

It’s like Suri’s Burn Book up in here!

Y’all, this was SO MUCH FUN. It wasn’t long, it wasn’t change your life intense literature, but it was so darned refreshing. You like fairy tale re-tellings? Give it a whirl. Would I steer you wrong?

So Bookworms, is there anything about your favorite fairy tale character that annoys the crap out of you? How would you rewrite their story?

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