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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Universal Genius + GIVEAWAY!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

Universal Genius: Collected Fiction of Erin LaleTitle: Universal Genius: Collected Fiction of Erin Lale
Author: Erin Lale
Page Count: 91 KB Kindle format; 84 page review copy MS Word format
Publisher: Time Yarns
Genre: science fiction
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

A Time Yarns Universe Book

Most of the stories in this collection are reprinted from magazines that are currently out of print.

Short stories in this anthology:

The Timelessness Machine
(reprinted from The Sterling Web)
Hard sf

Alternate history

In the Beginning Was the Microchip
(reprinted from The Science Fiction Store Club Magazine)
Hard sf / cyberpunk

The Betrayed
(reprinted from Mythic Circle)

Stopover on Monta Colony
(reprinted from The Science Fiction Store Club Magazine)

(reprinted from Collector’s Club Newsletter)

Russian Sauna
(reprinted from Shadowlane)
Magical realism

Infinity is a Function of This Universe
Hard sf


I think one of my favorite developments that's come out of the self-/indie publishing movement is that out of print or limited print run stories and books that would have been unattainable are easily accessible to new readers now.  This is especially true for short stories and inclusions in anthologies; I confess that I'm not a huge magazine reader so I would have completely missed out on all the stories included here if not for this collection.

As the synopsis indicates, a variety of genres that fall under the wider "science fiction" umbrella are included here, so not every story is going to be for everybody, but that's okay! The best thing about anthologies is being able to discover something that may normally not fall into one's purview.  It's good to try new things, you know?

I'll say at the onset, my favorite story was Obamaphone, an alternate history gem that's short, sweet, biting, and hilarious all at the same time.  Seriously, this is how I envision decisions being made.  The dance between bloggers, traditional media, and the world around us certainly doesn't escape unscathed either.  I giggled.  I giggled a lot.

The other stories represent a variety of other subgenres, as well, but Obamaphone was really the breakout of the bunch.  There is something for everyone lurking in here, though, so don't be afraid to give other new genres a shot.  

Erin Lale has graciously donated a digital copy of Universal Genius to one lucky carnival participant!  To enter, just fill out the form below.  When you're finished, head on over to the July 1st post, Why Read Indie Books?, and comment saying you entered the Universal Genius giveaway for an added shot at the $25 Amazon gift card!  Make sure your entries are on the correct post for them to be counted!
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