[ARC] Miniatures by John Scalzi

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The book Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi, as the title hints, collects the short stories by John Scalzi (best known for Old Man’s War, Redshirt, and other sci-fi novels).

Some tales are about aliens living among us with their own life style, others are about computer and everyday objects with their own personality and opinions.

I’m not a fan of John Scalzi, but these short stories are very good and funny, a mix of science fiction and humor (and cats).

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* Miniatures by John Scalzi ★★★★

*I read this book in english

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The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

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Una guida per il fantasy, un’analisi completa che mostra schemi ricorrenti e punti deboli del genere, il tutto scritto senza dimenticare umorismo e sottointesi rimandi ad opere ben note.
Più sotto riporto il commento, qui condivido una delle voci del glossario, anche perchè in questo caso la potenza del linguaggio la si può percepire solo leggendo.

HORSES are of a breed unique to Fantasyland. They are capable of galloping full-tilt all day without a rest. Sometimes they do not require food or water. They never cast shoes, go lame, or put their hooves down holes, except when Management deems it necessary, as when the forces of the DARK LORD are only half an hour behind. They never otherwise stumble. Nor do they ever make life difficult for Tourists by biting or kicking their riders or one another. They never resist being mounted or blow out so that their girths slip, or do any of the other things that make horses so chancy in this world. For instance, they never shy and seldom whinny or demand sugar at inopportune moments. But for some reason you cannot hold a conversation while riding them. If you want to say anything to another Tourist (or vice versa), both of you will have to rein to a stop and stand staring out over a VALLEY while you talk. Apart from this inexplicable quirk, Horse can be used just like bicycles, and usually are. Much research into how these exemplary animals come to exist has resulted in the following: no mare ever comes into season on the Tour and no STALLION ever shows an interest in a mare; and few Horses are described as geldings. It therefore seems probable that they breed by pollination. This theory seems to account for everything, since it is clear that the creatures do behave more like vegetables than mammals. It also explains why the ANGLO-SAXON COSSACKS and the DESERT NOMADS appear to have a monopoly on horse-breeding. They alone possess the secret of how to pollinate them.

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The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

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Leggi questo articolo in Italiano

A guide to the fantasy, a complete analysis that shows recurrent patterns and faults of this genre, all written without forgetting humor and implied references to the great work of this genre.
Keeping on reading there is my comment, here I chose to share one of the glossary entry because I believe that in this case the power of language could be perceived only by reading.

HORSES are of a breed unique to Fantasyland. They are capable of galloping full-tilt all day without a rest. Sometimes they do not require food or water. They never cast shoes, go lame, or put their hooves down holes, except when Management deems it necessary, as when the forces of the DARK LORD are only half an hour behind. They never otherwise stumble. Nor do they ever make life difficult for Tourists by biting or kicking their riders or one another. They never resist being mounted or blow out so that their girths slip, or do any of the other things that make horses so chancy in this world. For instance, they never shy and seldom whinny or demand sugar at inopportune moments. But for some reason you cannot hold a conversation while riding them. If you want to say anything to another Tourist (or vice versa), both of you will have to rein to a stop and stand staring out over a VALLEY while you talk. Apart from this inexplicable quirk, Horse can be used just like bicycles, and usually are. Much research into how these exemplary animals come to exist has resulted in the following: no mare ever comes into season on the Tour and no STALLION ever shows an interest in a mare; and few Horses are described as geldings. It therefore seems probable that they breed by pollination. This theory seems to account for everything, since it is clear that the creatures do behave more like vegetables than mammals. It also explains why the ANGLO-SAXON COSSACKS and the DESERT NOMADS appear to have a monopoly on horse-breeding. They alone possess the secret of how to pollinate them.

Continue reading