Not by me, yet, though I finished Zoo City a day or two ago. Instead, I'm going to paste some jive in here from Amazon's Editorial Reviews section on each as I decide which I want to read.
Stranger Things Happen
From Publishers Weekly
The 11 fantasies in this first collection from rising star Link are so quirky and exuberantly imagined that one is easily distracted from their surprisingly serious underpinnings of private pain and emotional estrangement. In "Water Off a Black Dog's Back," a na‹ve young man who has never known personal loss finds that the only way he can curry favor with his lover's physically afflicted family is to suffer a bizarre amputation. The protagonist in "Travels with the Snow Queen" reconsiders her fairy-tale romance when she deconstructs the clich‚s of traditional fairy tales and realizes that their heroines inevitably sacrifice and suffer much more than their heroes do. Link favors impersonal and potentially off-putting postmodern narrative approaches, but draws readers to the emotional core of her stories through vulnerable but brave characters who cope gamely with all the strangeness the world can throw their way. In the book's most effective tale, "Vanishing Act," a young girl's efforts to magically reunite herself with her distant family by withdrawing from the world around her poignantly calls attention to the spiritual vacancies and absence of affection in the family she stays with. "The Specialist's Hat" features twin sisters whose morbid obsessions seems due as much to their father's parental neglect as their mother's death. Although a few of the selections seem little more than awkward freshman exercises in the absurd, the best shed a warm, weird light on their worlds, illuminating fresh perspectives and fantastic possibilities.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Pump Six and Other Stories
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bacigalupi's stellar first collection of 10 stories displays the astute social commentary and consciousness-altering power of the very best short form science fiction. The Hugo-nominated The Calorie Man explores a post–fossil fuel future where genetically modified crops both feed and power the world, and greedy megacorporations hold the fates of millions in their hands. The People of Sand and Slag envisions a future Earth as a contaminated wasteland inhabited by virtually indestructible post-humans who consume stone and swim in petroleum oceans. The Tamarisk Hunter deals with the effects of global warming on water rights in the Southwest, while the title story, original to this volume, follows a New York sewage treatment worker who struggles to repair his antiquated equipment as the city's inhabitants succumb to the brain-damaging effects of industrial pollutants. Deeply thought provoking, Bacigalupi's collected visions of the future are equal parts cautionary tale, social and political commentary and poignantly poetic, revelatory prose. (Apr.)
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 starsNazi InvadersFebruary 23, 2011ByArthur W. JordinFormat:HardcoverInvasion (2011) is the first SF novel in the Secret World Chronicles series. In an alternate timeline, metahumans began to appear during World War II. These people discovered various psion powers within themselves. They could fly, withstand bullets, read minds and had other attributes. Most were stronger than normals and healed faster.
Might have to skip that one.
Okay, Zoo City has great world building, but the secondary character development was almost non-existent with an ending that nearly puts the book into "wish I hadn't wasted my time reading it" land. So much potential and a pretty readable tale up until 80% or more of the way in, but devolves into a "Lookit my word count; I gotta finish this now" gore and a Princess Bunhead "I escaped somehow" wrap-up.
There's also Cory Doctorow's Pirate Cinema, but after reading some of For the Win, which started okay but turned into trash, I'm loath to give it a try.