Book Review

by Charles Yu

Genre: Science Fiction, Anthology

2012 Science Fiction Novel Nominee

RT Rating

This slim volume of 13 short stories offers the reader plenty of thought- provoking topics to chew on. Each story is quite elegantly crafted to challenge the reader to think and think again about what makes us the imperfect, maddening, emotionally-wrecked people we are. Yu employs a variety of narrative techniques to keep things fresh, but the people matter most here — the newly-promoted “Yeoman” who is scheduled to die within a week, the zombie shopping for the perfect shade of lipstick or Murray of “Adult Contemporary,” who has to decide whether to live a life in which nothing may happen or buy one with a definite — and finite — outcome.

Thirteen short pieces encompassing a variety of themes, ranging from an exploration of the sale and manipulation of human feelings to just how the discovery of a theoretical multiverse would affect our mental outlook. Each piece, whether it’s the thought-provoking “Note to Self,” the poignant “First Person Shooter” or the shattering “Sorry Please Thank You,” addresses some aspect of the contemporary human condition with an overlay of speculative elements. (PANTHEON, Jul., 240 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed By: Donna M. Carter

Publisher: PANTHEON

Published: July 2012

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