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Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea

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Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea PDF, ePub eBook Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is one of the most anticipated sf&f collections of recent years. Pinsker has shot like a star across the firmament with stories multiply nominated for awards as well as Sturgeon and Nebula award wins. The baker's dozen stories gathered here (including a new, previously unpublished story) turn readers into travelers to the pa Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is one of the most anticipated sf&f collections of recent years. Pinsker has shot like a star across the firmament with stories multiply nominated for awards as well as Sturgeon and Nebula award wins. The baker's dozen stories gathered here (including a new, previously unpublished story) turn readers into travelers to the past, the future, and explorers of the weirder points of the present. The journey is the thing as Pinsker weaves music, memory, technology, history, mystery, love, loss, and even multiple selves on generation ships and cruise ships, on highways and high seas, in murder houses and treehouses. They feature runaways, fiddle-playing astronauts, and retired time travelers; they are weird, wired, hopeful, haunting, and deeply human. They are often described as beautiful but Pinsker also knows that the heart wants what the heart wants and that is not always right, or easy.

30 review for Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Most definitely in the running for best book I've read this year. Wow. Just wow. Sarah deftly captures the human experience and rocks our world, time and time again in Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea. The stories within this collection take place in alternate universes and future versions of our current world, where the characters' realities are near enough to our own to seem comforting and familiar, yet are bizarre enough to catch you off-guard and continously facinate you. It's r Most definitely in the running for best book I've read this year. Wow. Just wow. Sarah deftly captures the human experience and rocks our world, time and time again in Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea. The stories within this collection take place in alternate universes and future versions of our current world, where the characters' realities are near enough to our own to seem comforting and familiar, yet are bizarre enough to catch you off-guard and continously facinate you. It's rare that I read a collection so well balanced. There's not a story here that I didn't like and so many that I absolutely adored, making it difficult to pick a favorite. In the opening story "A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide" a young man loses his arm and has it replaced with a robotic prosthetic, but there's a problem. Instead of seeing an arm, he sees a road in Colorado in its place. In the title story, a rock star washes up on a secluded island and she's rescued by a grouchy scavenger with a massive chip on her shoulder. "Taking with Dead People" tells the story of two best friends who launch a successful business crafting model murder houses, complete with AI technology that can respond with factual and presumptive data, until one of their own haunted pasts are replicated. "Wind Will Rove" follows the re-creation of the history of a song, after a 'blackout' on a spaceship filled with generations of hopeful people headed to a new planet wipes out most of the ship's historical databases. And in the final story "And Then There Were (N-One)", we're treated to a delightful Agatha Christie homage, in which hundreds of Sarah Pinsker's (yes, the author) are invited across multi-universes to attend a conference on a secluded island in the midst of a storm, and (yes) one of them ends up murdered. Dazzling, daring, and fascinating, Sarah's stories leave a lasting impressing long after they've been read, stirring your heart as they swirl around in your head.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Iona Sharma

    It took me a while to warm to this one because a couple of the earlier stories didn't grab me - including, disappointingly, the title story, which I didn't hate but didn't love. But when it picks up steam, it's a really wonderful book. The hands-down best story is "And Then There Were N-1", the Hugo-nominated story about a convention full of the author's alternative universe selves - all called Sarah Pinsker, attending SarahCon - but I liked "Wind Will Rove" almost as much, which is a story abou It took me a while to warm to this one because a couple of the earlier stories didn't grab me - including, disappointingly, the title story, which I didn't hate but didn't love. But when it picks up steam, it's a really wonderful book. The hands-down best story is "And Then There Were N-1", the Hugo-nominated story about a convention full of the author's alternative universe selves - all called Sarah Pinsker, attending SarahCon - but I liked "Wind Will Rove" almost as much, which is a story about generation ships and history, Cape Breton Gaelic music and òrain luaidh. All the stories are intelligent and kind and worth reading, though, and it's a really solid collection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This is an impressive collection of stories, many set in the near-future or an alternate universe, but also grounded in real human dilemmas, including loss and isolation. The last story, "And Then There Were None", possibly the best in the collection, is a tribute to Agatha Christie, about a conference of hundreds of Sarah Pinskers, (the author) on a remote island in a storm--and one of them is murdered. The writing here is strong and deft and I am definitely looking forward to read more of Pins This is an impressive collection of stories, many set in the near-future or an alternate universe, but also grounded in real human dilemmas, including loss and isolation. The last story, "And Then There Were None", possibly the best in the collection, is a tribute to Agatha Christie, about a conference of hundreds of Sarah Pinskers, (the author) on a remote island in a storm--and one of them is murdered. The writing here is strong and deft and I am definitely looking forward to read more of Pinsker.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I can't be truly objective about this book - Sarah is my friend. I remember when she sold her first story, and when she received her first award nomination. And now she has her first book release and every time award nominations for SFF awards come out my question isn't whether she was nominated but rather which story of hers was nominated this time. But I can be objective enough to know that this collection competes with some of the best. I've read plenty of SFF short story collections - includi I can't be truly objective about this book - Sarah is my friend. I remember when she sold her first story, and when she received her first award nomination. And now she has her first book release and every time award nominations for SFF awards come out my question isn't whether she was nominated but rather which story of hers was nominated this time. But I can be objective enough to know that this collection competes with some of the best. I've read plenty of SFF short story collections - including Ted Chiang and Connie Willis and NK Jemisin - that swept me off my feet left me dazzled, and Sarah's belongs in their ranks. Sarah immediately drops the reader in the middle of a fully realized world and tells a story that is achingly human despite the fantastical settings, as all the best SFF does. Like all the greats, she creates so much with so few words, doing more in two dozen pages than many authors do in entire novels. These stories are sticky - the ones I read in the past stayed in the corners of my brain and the ones that are new to me are already sneaking up on me when I'm busy at work or reading other things. I can't recommend this collection enough.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Koeeoaddi

    What a brilliant collection; vivid, compelling and relentlessly humane. Each story sucks you in with an intriguing first sentence or premise and by the time you turn the page you are completely involved. I love the language, which is so evocative and immediate. There wasn't a story I didn't like, or a sentence out of place. I loved the title story, but I think my favorite was the short and lovely The Sewell Home for tbe Temporally Displaced. Marvelous!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I received this galley through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sarah Pinsker is among my favorite writers, and I was thrilled to read her new collection from Small Beer Press a few months in advance of release. When I say she's among my favorites, that also means I'd read most of the stories in this book before; four were new to me, but one sees its first publication in this book. All of these stories are worth re-reading. Actually, they are worth studying on a technical level to understand why stor I received this galley through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sarah Pinsker is among my favorite writers, and I was thrilled to read her new collection from Small Beer Press a few months in advance of release. When I say she's among my favorites, that also means I'd read most of the stories in this book before; four were new to me, but one sees its first publication in this book. All of these stories are worth re-reading. Actually, they are worth studying on a technical level to understand why stories work. Pinsker doesn't write about big drama. She writes about people being people in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. There's a sense of subtlety to her works. In "A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide," a man loses his arm, and along with his prosthetic he gains an awareness of being a road in remote Colorado. "Remembery Day" addresses PTSD and the effects of war on the next generation, without ever becoming preachy. In "And Then There were (n-one)," one of my very favorite novellas, period, she brings a brilliant spin to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" by envisioning a cross-dimensional conference of hundreds of Sarah Pinskers on an isolated island in a storm--and one of them is murdered. Because of this collection, I started my document to track my favorite 2019 releases to nominate for awards in 2020. Yes, this collection is that good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    3.5 stars! This was a delightfully original and unusual set of short stories. Delving into this world was a great experience and author's writing style kept me intrigued through it all. And these stories made me feel an array of emotions - joy, sadness, wonder... Definitely one of the more interesting reads I touched lately.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roy

    The first collection from an amazing writer who just keeps getting better. This collection includes the four stories nominated for major awards, one new story, and several of her other works. She invokes emotions in every story, and her style is inimitable. The collection would deserve 5 stars just for the 4 award stories -- I re-read them, and, if anything, they are more impressive at a second read. I keep being amazed at how "And then there were (N-one)" works on so many levels, as a true homa The first collection from an amazing writer who just keeps getting better. This collection includes the four stories nominated for major awards, one new story, and several of her other works. She invokes emotions in every story, and her style is inimitable. The collection would deserve 5 stars just for the 4 award stories -- I re-read them, and, if anything, they are more impressive at a second read. I keep being amazed at how "And then there were (N-one)" works on so many levels, as a true homage to the Christie classic, while also exploring the question of how well we know ourselves by presenting a convention full of all the same person. The investigator of the murder is the same person from another quantum reality as the victim and the murderer, making the investigator wonder "what could lead me to kill, since I didn't think I could, but apparently under some circumstances I could.' But it is also exciting to see what she does with other story ideas. Always the stories have well-drawn characters, and represent moments of critical change in their life. I'm particularly impressed that she always gives us an emotional closure, even while often not quite giving complete plot closure. In (N-one), I remembered the discovery of the murderer and motive so well that I had forgotten that we don't see how the investigator actually resolves the cross-dimension murder investigation. If I have any complaint it is how many of the stories could be classed as "what happens to music after the apocalypse" -- varied by many different kinds of apocalypse. Even if you didn't know that Sarah Pinsker has released 3 albums of songs, you would guess that music is a big part of her life. I liked that, but it was a little overwhelming to read several of them together. But I also suspect that she is "writing what she knows" and I have faith that will lead to lots of future works I'll enjoy reading. At the moment, I'll read anything she writes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is easily the best short story collection--and possibly the best book--I read in the last year. So often, collections are a mixed bag, but this one was weird and wondrous from beginning to end. I appreciated the hope that threaded throughout the stories. I've been working against the urge to make every work of science fiction into a brooding vision of an ominous future, and Pinsker's book gives me a rare model for this amidst the bleak, dystopian SF landscape. I also enjoyed the abundance of This is easily the best short story collection--and possibly the best book--I read in the last year. So often, collections are a mixed bag, but this one was weird and wondrous from beginning to end. I appreciated the hope that threaded throughout the stories. I've been working against the urge to make every work of science fiction into a brooding vision of an ominous future, and Pinsker's book gives me a rare model for this amidst the bleak, dystopian SF landscape. I also enjoyed the abundance of queer characters, whose presence made even the most strange worlds feel familiar, as if they could be my home, too. I found myself wanting to talk about nearly every story as I read it--the questions that each one posed struck like clappers against the bell of my brain, so that I found myself ringing them out into every conversation over this last month. I particularly loved "Remembery Day" and "Wind Will Rove," which both reckon with what we choose to remember and what we want to forget. Despite that similarity, each comes at those questions from strikingly different angles. The first asks whether forgetting wartime trauma is worth the cost of sacrificing one's broader memory. The other wonders whether--once we've left this world behind forever--the collective memory of Earth's history is a necessity or a burden, a way of preventing the repetition of terrible mistakes or a barrier to possibility and progress. Another favorite was "Our Lady of the Open Road," which helped me think about making art in late-stage capitalism. Although this sounds like a lofty subject, Pinsker grounds it in the grit and grime of a punk band driving their van from one city to the next, trying to keep live music thriving in a world where hologram performances are ubiquitous and easily enjoyed from the comfort of home. When I arrived at the final story, I was dubious, wondering, "How will she sustain this momentum? What could possibly top the stories that have come before?" But "And Then There Were (N-One)" is hands down the best in the book, with its homage to Agatha Christie and its bizarre convening of the many Sarah Pinskers that exist across multiple worlds. Pinsker-the-author navigates the craft of the story--in which all the characters are nearly identical--with humor and grace. On top of that, the story gives bodies to so many questions about how choice and coincidence accumulate to make us who we are, and opens the door to the many selves we might be, if only something had been slightly different. P.S. After typing up a review of this book, I hit “Save,” only to encounter the whirling spiral of doom, followed by a blank screen. How much do I love this book? So much that I spent the next half hour recreating my original review from memory, in the off chance that reading a few more good words about this collection might someday tip someone in favor of buying a copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bee

    I have no words beyond "wow" at the moment. Full review to come.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Possibly the best short story collection I have ever read. I won't break it down by story, but I have to make one. Specific. Comment. "A dog-eared paperback novel called Parable of the Trickster." GODDAMMIT SARAH

  12. 4 out of 5

    Félix

    Thirteen utterly delightful stories.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leo

    All of those stories were a delight but the first one completely blew my mind in a quiet but very powerful way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    This is a hard book for me to rate. The writing was excellent but the stories themselves weren't for me. I would liken it to a top-rated chef expertly preparing you a dish that's not to your tastes. I went into this book expecting more of a sci-fi vibe. The last story was the only memorable one in the collection for me and was what I was hoping for from the balance of the collection.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara G

    I chose this book because I enjoyed the sci-fi cleverness of Then There Were (n-one), which I read in Uncanny Magazine. What I loved about this book, though were the quiet, heartfelt stories where not much happens. A girl grows to appreciate a robot that imitates her grandmother. A scavenger is inspired by a starlet she saves. A man grows to appreciate his new mechanical arm.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    It's extremely rare that I read a collection of short stories and like every one, but Pinsker's prose and eye for detail got me every time. Her worldbuilding is evocative, and most importantly, every single character she writes is brimming with heart, soul, and humanity. She writes with a stunning amount of empathy. Her stories feature a vast array of people from different walks of life, but I can't think of a single one with a traditional villain. The stories are united by speculative element, It's extremely rare that I read a collection of short stories and like every one, but Pinsker's prose and eye for detail got me every time. Her worldbuilding is evocative, and most importantly, every single character she writes is brimming with heart, soul, and humanity. She writes with a stunning amount of empathy. Her stories feature a vast array of people from different walks of life, but I can't think of a single one with a traditional villain. The stories are united by speculative element, and a bittersweet feeling, where no easy answers are in reach, but humanity keeps going, keeps loving, keeps making music regardless. Some of my particular favorites include: In Remembery Day, Kima, a little girl, watches her mother, a war veteran, attend a memorial parade. There's a slow revelation of just what's going on regarding the war which I won't reveal, but it's an emotional gutpunch. In The Low Hum of Her, Tanya's father builds a golem/automaton of her recently-deceased Bubbe, whose existence then helps the family escape a Europe on the brink of the Holocaust/WWII. Despite the setting, the story isn't depressing, and largely focuses on Tanya's growing bond with this 'New Bubbe.' (Looking at the last two stories makes me realize I really enjoy how Pinsker writes children. They are neither cutsey nor small adults, but rather understandable if emotionally immature human beings in their own right, and I wish more writers would take note.) The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced may be the shortest story in the collection, but it's impressively evocative for its length. In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind is told from the point of view of Millie, the now-aging wife of an architect who got broken pretty badly by a military project he had to work on in the Cold War era. Every single appearing member of Millie's family is rendered with empathy and nuance, no matter how short their appearance, and the story of just what George, Millie's husband, had to do, as well as her trying and failing to reach out to him, is quietly heartwrenching. Wind Will Rove takes place on a generation starship, exploring history, transformative works, and how generations develop their identity through the eyes of Rose, a history teacher and musician. I don't normally look at a story themes-first, but the themes in this one were so well-developed and portrayed with so much nuance, I was impressed. I talked about And Then There Were (N-One) in greater detail in a previous review, so all I'm going to say is I still loved it on re-read. Knowing just what had really happened gave a very different flavor to some scenes, and created a different yet equally satisfying reading experience. One of the aspects which stood out for me about this collection is how many of the stories featured queer women. I really loved how not-a-big-deal their queerness is. In And We Were Left Darkling, Jo's relationship with her wife, Taya, is strained when Jo starts having recurring dreams of a child they don't have. In the titular Sooner Or Later, Everything Falls Into the Sea, Bay hopes to reunite with her wife, Debra, in a post-apocalyptic landscape. In The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced, Marguerite and Judy find love and solace in a stifling institution out of space and time. In Wind Will Rove, Rose mentions a (female) ex who still brings her fresh mint from the greenhouse. In Our Lady of the Open Road, Luce finds herself attracted to a younger musician she meets on tour. And of course we have Sarah, the protagonist of And Then There Were (N-One,) her wife, Mabel, and the many other Sarahs, who may or may not have a Mabel of their own. Even when the relationships aren't central, they always feel warm and believable. Pinsker has a gift for portraying a strong, multifaceted bond in very few words, a skill many romance writers could honestly take a lesson in. I loved this collection, and highly encourage everyone to check it out!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I love that I read this book as a direct result of community, both digital and brick-and-mortar. I've been reviewing my leisure reading on Goodreads for several years now (possibly a decade?), and somewhere along the line, Sarah Pinsker and I became Goodreads friends, without my being aware that she was a writer (in spite of that "Goodreads Author" parentheses currently after her username). Then this spring I went to Asheville for a long weekend, and I spotted this title on the bookstore picks s I love that I read this book as a direct result of community, both digital and brick-and-mortar. I've been reviewing my leisure reading on Goodreads for several years now (possibly a decade?), and somewhere along the line, Sarah Pinsker and I became Goodreads friends, without my being aware that she was a writer (in spite of that "Goodreads Author" parentheses currently after her username). Then this spring I went to Asheville for a long weekend, and I spotted this title on the bookstore picks shelf at Malaprop's. Hooray for independent bookstores and their personal curation! In any case, that is the long wind-up to how this short story collection came into my possession and how I happened to spend the past two days gobbling them up. Pinsker's work reminds me a little bit of Kelly Link and Karen Russell in their quick and vivid establishment of alternate worlds and their slip from our commonly accepted reality into a slightly weirder one. She populates these stories with queer characters, placing lesbian relationships center-stage. Her stories deal with climate change and our tense yet intimate relationship to technology; one imagines a man's mind hijacked by his prosthesis, which "remembers" its previous life as a computer chip in a stretch of highway. She also loves imagining Daedalus-like artifacts--not the technological sublime but instead personal tinkering: a car repurposed to look like a narwal, a tree house with a giraffe's neck for stairs. Pinsker seems suspicious of sameness but to enjoy the idea that we can take an assembly-line world and transform it for our own purposes (see also Daisy, the van that runs on grease). Pinsker writes evocatively of road trips and musical performance; she embraces the ethos of improvisation as a way of resisting authoritarianism, consumerism, and fatalism. My favorite of the stories is the last of the collection, in which Pinsker draws on the conventions of hard-boiled detective fiction to imagine her own murder...at a convention of Sarah Pinskers collected from many multiverses.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    I had read a few of Sarah Pinsker's stories in Asimov's magazine and was impressed with her work. Two of them were SF stories featuring musicians, which felt authentic, which is not a surprise because she's a performing musician. Her first collection has 13 stories. Many of her stories are clever twists on classic themes – Greek sirens luring sailors to their deaths, generation starships, multiverses, murder mysteries. What makes them worth reading is the easy style she delivers, believable char I had read a few of Sarah Pinsker's stories in Asimov's magazine and was impressed with her work. Two of them were SF stories featuring musicians, which felt authentic, which is not a surprise because she's a performing musician. Her first collection has 13 stories. Many of her stories are clever twists on classic themes – Greek sirens luring sailors to their deaths, generation starships, multiverses, murder mysteries. What makes them worth reading is the easy style she delivers, believable characters, and crisp dialogue. This is enhanced by first-person narration, which she seems to prefer (10 of the 13). She seems consistently good – there wasn't a dud story in the bunch. She also clearly knows her genre tropes – one of the stories is a multiverse one about a convention of Sarah Pinskers (SarahCon, of course) from different universes, unexpectedly trapped on an isolated island in a raging storm, when one of them turns up dead. Gasp! Those of you who know your Agatha Christie will appreciate the title: “And Then There Were (N-One)”. SF and murder mysteries combined? Sign me up. I'm a Sarah fan now. I may have to see where her band is touring...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    This book was a definite favorite for me this month. I didn’t know much about the book going into it, but I was immediately drawn in by the stories. Each of the stories in this collection are very different with vastly different characters. There’s a home for retired time travelers and students creating murder home replicas. The sirens of ancient myths make an appearance alongside stories in the far future with space travel and advances in AI. I found that each story builds a unique world incredi This book was a definite favorite for me this month. I didn’t know much about the book going into it, but I was immediately drawn in by the stories. Each of the stories in this collection are very different with vastly different characters. There’s a home for retired time travelers and students creating murder home replicas. The sirens of ancient myths make an appearance alongside stories in the far future with space travel and advances in AI. I found that each story builds a unique world incredibly well in a short span of pages. One story that really stuck with me was about a group of people a couple generations into a long space voyage to a new planet. After losing all of their recorded data (music, movies, books, etc.), they are attempting to hold on to pieces of the world they left behind through imperfect human memory. The importance of what was lost and what could never be regained was very well conveyed. I try to pick up a few short story books each year, generally reading a story here or there between longer reads. As a result, short story collections tend to be slower reads for me, but that was definitely not the case here. I kept wanting to continue on to the next story every time one ended. I would highly recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys a good story!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    A fascinating array of stories by a master speculative-fiction short story/novella author. Pinsker's range in characters, voices and story subjects is evident in this, her first anthology: from an historical fantasy piece featuring a golem grandmother to artistic-culture preservation and dissent on a generation ship, to...well, as weird as the oddest Theodore Sturgeon story. Soft, hard and medium science fiction with all but the most technical of "hard" SF. Pinsker's characters and settings are A fascinating array of stories by a master speculative-fiction short story/novella author. Pinsker's range in characters, voices and story subjects is evident in this, her first anthology: from an historical fantasy piece featuring a golem grandmother to artistic-culture preservation and dissent on a generation ship, to...well, as weird as the oddest Theodore Sturgeon story. Soft, hard and medium science fiction with all but the most technical of "hard" SF. Pinsker's characters and settings are rich but not overdone, and include people of numerous ethnic groups, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities. I don't give five stars lightly and this collection deserves them. Only one story was less than amazingly top of the line according to my tastes. For mid-teens through all ages of adults (stories include several non-stereotypical characters over 55--hurrah!) who enjoy science fiction and/or fantasy, unless they are the most misogynistic/homophobic/racist of "Sad Puppies" in which case they don't deserve prime spec fic like this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The stories here were some of the most unique I've read. I generally go for short story collections that are anthologies, but decided to pick up this one of works by a single author and was not disappointed. Individual ratings follow, but this was a fantastic collection overall. A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide 2.5 And We Were Left Darkling 2 Remembery Day 4 Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea 3.5 The Low Hum of Her 3 Talking with Dead People 4.5 The Sewell Home for the Temporarily Displace The stories here were some of the most unique I've read. I generally go for short story collections that are anthologies, but decided to pick up this one of works by a single author and was not disappointed. Individual ratings follow, but this was a fantastic collection overall. A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide 2.5 And We Were Left Darkling 2 Remembery Day 4 Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea 3.5 The Low Hum of Her 3 Talking with Dead People 4.5 The Sewell Home for the Temporarily Displaced 3.5 In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind 5 No Lonely Seafarer 4 Wind Will Rove 5 Our Lady of the Open Road 4 The Narwhal 4.5 And Then There Were (N-One) 5 This averages out to 3.884615385, so I rounded up to 4.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Rose

    It's hard for me to write a balanced review of this collection, as I'd read every story in it (minus one, along with the new one) as they initially came out in various publications. Some are merely excellent, and others I hold up to writing self as exemplars of certain voices, tropes, structures, or 'angles of attack'. There are some knockout stories in here, believe me. I'm not practicing for a position as a future blur-writer, I'm just being honest. Sarah mints stories that grow out of the core It's hard for me to write a balanced review of this collection, as I'd read every story in it (minus one, along with the new one) as they initially came out in various publications. Some are merely excellent, and others I hold up to writing self as exemplars of certain voices, tropes, structures, or 'angles of attack'. There are some knockout stories in here, believe me. I'm not practicing for a position as a future blur-writer, I'm just being honest. Sarah mints stories that grow out of the core shaft of SF tradition, are inhabited by characters you want to root for, and have a ring of genuine truth. My only cavil with this collection is that a couple of my favorite Sarah Pinsker stories are not included. Really, just read this, and if you haven't read her stuff before, expect to become a fan before the end of the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Galen Strickland

    As with the last story collection I rated 5 stars, not every story here is that good, but enough of them are to warrant the high score. Sarah has only been publishing a little more than six years, but in that short time has become a premier and reliable author. There are several stories from these years I recall liking but that aren't in this book, including her current Nebula finalist. I'm sure it won't be long before she has enough others to fill another collection, and I'm looking forward to As with the last story collection I rated 5 stars, not every story here is that good, but enough of them are to warrant the high score. Sarah has only been publishing a little more than six years, but in that short time has become a premier and reliable author. There are several stories from these years I recall liking but that aren't in this book, including her current Nebula finalist. I'm sure it won't be long before she has enough others to fill another collection, and I'm looking forward to her first novel in September. Full review at http://templetongate.net/sooner-or-later

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marzie

    From the shortest of stories like the sweet "The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced" to the novelette length" Our Lady of the Open Road," this is a uniformly fine anthology of Pinkser's short fiction. Limning the human condition in all of its weirdness and hopefulness, each story can be savored. "Wind Will Rove" was particularly memorable in its appreciation of collective cultural memory and the role of art and music, while "And Then There Were (N-One)" is a clever hat-tip to Agatha Christ From the shortest of stories like the sweet "The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced" to the novelette length" Our Lady of the Open Road," this is a uniformly fine anthology of Pinkser's short fiction. Limning the human condition in all of its weirdness and hopefulness, each story can be savored. "Wind Will Rove" was particularly memorable in its appreciation of collective cultural memory and the role of art and music, while "And Then There Were (N-One)" is a clever hat-tip to Agatha Christie. I received a Digital Review Copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Streator Johnson

    As a general rule, I tend to avoid short story collections (Gardener Dozois' annuls to the contrary), but I had heard something good about this one and I thought I would give it a shot. Good recommendation. I enjoyed all the stories, though I do have one small complaint, often the ending left me at loose ends. Not really endings per say for many of these stories. That being said, the stories themselves were interesting and had a nice flow to them.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ren Bedell

    A collection of short stories with a science fiction focus. The stories are mainly near-future stories speculating on social aspects connected with technology. Only 1 story is new, while the rest have been released previously in magazines and other areas. Every story is good and many are amazing. None of the stories are bad. Most of them had me wanting more. I would say this is the best short story collection I have read so far. I highly recommend if you are a fan of short fiction.

  27. 4 out of 5

    KWinks

    I've been in love with Pinsker's writing for quite a while. I think it was last year, when I was trying to read all of the Nebula nominees and read And Then There Were (N-One). Holy smokes, so very good. That story is in here, as well as a ton of others I have not read. I loved the one about the sirens trapping the sailors on the island and the band on tour across the country. There wasn't a dud in the bunch. I'll be thinking about The Narwhal for a long time. Great collection.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Arbys Mom

    One of the best short story collections I’ve ever read! Extremely well written and thoroughly enjoyable. Even though I’d read a couple of them once before, it was a joy to read them again. I’m so looking forward to this author’s novel coming out in September, apparently a continuation of one of these stories, OUR LADY OF THE OPEN ROAD. The final story here was nominated for a Hugo Award, and rightly so. It’s one of my favorite stories ever.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kaity

    I loved this collection more and more with each story I read. Sci-fi normally feels like a window to another world, something behind glass, but these stories feel like memories or oral histories or a strange anecdote you heard from a friend one night over drinks. This collection was just wonderful, and I see a re-read in my near future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    cosmicpool

    This was excellent, but it's going to take me some time to process and articulate all the reasons why. I found this by poking through the Goodreads blog, specifically in this post.

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