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Multi-award winning author Greg Bear established himself as the most ambitious and imaginative of the potential successors to Arthur C. Clarke with his bestselling space operas Eon and Eternity. Tangents is his first collection of short stories and includes two tales that won both Hugo and Nebula Awards: 'Tangents' a remarkable account of contact with beings from another dimension, and the original short version of his classic novel Blood Music.
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- Binary Ronin
Good narration, great writing. A really interesting mix of intelligent and perceptive story telling. A couple of duds, but they are nestled between gems.
- Douglas W. Hanna
Powered me through a long stretch of road
This audible recording recently got me through a long, exhausting automobile journey. There are definitely some dud stories in this collection, but the readers Taylor Brennan and Therese Plummer did a great job of maximizing the potential of these particular pieces. There was especially something powerful and stimulating about Taylor's voice that kept my attention pegged while my mind was trying to drift.
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- Jeff Koeppen
Interesting Mix of Fantasy and Sci-Fi
Tangents is an interesting collection of short fiction, plus one nonfiction story to wrap things up. This was a mixed bag for me as I really do not like fantasy and at least half of the stories were fantasy rather than the science fiction I was hoping for. Still, this was a fun read and even the fantasy content kept me turning pages. A summary of the stores:
"Blood Music" - a bio-horror/sci-fi story about a scientist who injects nanobots in to his blood and things don't exactly go as planned. For him. Bear expanded this in to a novel which I'll have to check out.
"Sleepside Story" - a boy from the other side of the tracks befriends a prostitute with magical powers which causes her to change in unexpected ways.
"Webster" - a lonely woman magically creates the man of her dreams but their relationship doesn't grow as she hopes.
"A Martian Ricorso" - a mission to Mars involving first contact doesn't go well for the three astronauts on the red planet.
"Dead Run" - things don't go as planned for a truck driver in charge of delivering souls to hell.
"Schrodinger's Plague" - a gripping, mind melting story about a deadly viral pandemic, or not?
"Through Road No Whiter" - Nazis on a road trip come upon an old lady who isn't who she appears to be.
"Tangents" - a scientist famous for his work cracking codes in WWII encounters a boy who seemingly can see and communicate with beings in the fourth dimension.
"Sisters" - in the future where many are genetically modified to be physically attractive, a natural high school girl struggles to be part of the group.
"The Machineries of Joy" - this is a non-fiction article which Bear wrote for Omni magazine in 1984 in which he talks about the future of computer technology especially how it relates to movies. I found it fascinating. He predicts many of the things we take for granted now regarding CGI and gets some things wrong, too. Very relatable for those of us who were first dabbling in computers around that time, as I was as a college boy.
Overall, there weren't a lot of feel good stories in this collection. Most were pretty dark and some were really dark. Standouts for me were "Blood Music", "Sisters", and "Schrodinger's Plague". I've got a number of Bear novels on my shelves I need to get to now.