Book Review: Stranded by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis & James Alan GardnerThursday, October 18, 2012
Stranded by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis & James Alan Gardner
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Format: Ebook, 274 pages
Published On: August 24, 2012 by Bell Bridge Books
Source: Requested for review via NetGalley.
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Stranded is an anthology containing three science fiction stories featuring young adult protagonists (16 years or so) who are stranded in space and placed in charge of their fate. Without condescending to the age group, we are given a moral message of right vs. wrong and how our actions influence not only our lives but the world around us too.
A Host Of Leeches by James Alan Gardner
This story has a promising start. Alyssa wakes up after getting sick in an unknown hospital without memory how she got there. As she explores unknown space station populated with robots instead of people, we get to learn about what happened to her.
There are a lot of robots in this story: small, large, smart, slow, hostile, motherly, ... I am a fan of robots since R2D2 beeped those cute sentences from screen to me, so I enjoyed reading about them. Their antics and sometimes weird sense of logic always make me smile. My favorite was Og. He was the cutest of them all (ignore the fact that he is a giant doom machine).
James Alan Gardner did a great job writing this story. There are a lot of twists - some surprising and some not so surprising - but they make you read this story in a blink of an eye.
A Strand In the Web by Anne Bishop
Before this book, I only read fantasy books written by Anne Bishop. She and I have an ongoing love/hate relationship. I love her Black Jewels trilogy and hate her Ephemera series. So I did not know what to expect when I started reading her debut story to science fiction genre. Will I like it or not?
The answer is yes, this was a good story. We follow young Willow as she struggles with usual teenager problems: school assignments gone wrong, jealousy from classmates and project that is too complex for her to do it by herself. Also, we learn about scary (but possible?) future of Earth inhabitants if we do not take care about our planet better.
Stranded by Anthony Francis
This was the last story and for me the hardest to read. I was excited when I read the summary. How many science fiction stories are there that feature young genetically engineered centauress? But unfortunately Anthony Francis has a style of writing that I found very hard to read. There are so many unknown terms and invented words in his sentences, crammed and unfinished ideas and plot elements, that my brain simply could not process all that and enjoy in the same time. This feels more like a draft for a novel than a fully developed novella.
But if we disregard that, this story is very interesting and original and it discusses some very serious subjects like gender equality and homophobia.
I recommend this book to fans of: thought-provoking science fiction and young adults.