Sunday 12 August 2007

This is My Funniest: Leading Science Fiction Writers Present Their Funniest Stories Ever edited by Mike Resnick

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by BenBella Books, Inc

Mike Resnick presents a diverse collection of short stories by leading science fiction writers. Each author has chosen what they believe are their best comical tales and introduces that story with a short introduction though we find out why they chose a certain tale, and at times some insight into the authors themselves.

The authors featured are Harry Harrison, William Tenn, Jane Yolen, Howard Waldrop, Barry Malzberg, Laura Resnick, David Gerrold, Spider Robinson, Robert Silverberg, James Patrick Kelly, Jody Lynn Nye, Nick DiChario, Tom Gerencer, Michael Swanwick, Esther Friesner, Gardner Dozois, Jack McDevitt, Ralph Roberts, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Bill Fawcett, Josepha Sherman, Nancy Kress, David Brin, Walter Jon Williams, Joe Haldeman, Mike Resnick, Harry Turtledove, Connie Willis, and Robert Sheckley.

As for the stories, they are a fun insight into just how fun the imagination can be. The reader gets to explore so many strange situations:
  • What would happen if someone were to spike the water supply with LSD?
  • What if Heaven and Hell were managed Mafia style?
  • What would it be like to live the life of Franz Kafka, especially if you were to have the ability to turn into a giant cockroach superhero called Bug-Man?
  • What happens when a sassy teen discovers an alien with a bad disguise and offers him a free makeover?
  • What would a radio station sound like if it were hosted by aliens?
  • Could sugar plum fairies take over the earth?
These and many more questions are answered within the pages. Pages which offer so much entertainment, and laughter. It's a fun read and I love that I got to experience the writings of so many authors I was unfamiliar with. I think I am going to have to explore more books of the science fiction genre in future.

A light, fun read.


Kristina said...

This post made me think of another compilation or SF/Fantasy short stories called "What if...?" edited by Monica Hughes. That was a great book, intended for YA audiences, but adults would also really enjoy. I used a bunch of the stories from that book when I was teaching grade 7 English language arts -- the students were fascinated by the stories, and doing assignments based on them afterwards wasn't so bad ;)

I like short story compilations for those times when I don't have much time to devote to reading, yet I can read an entire short story and still feel like I've been reading. I'll have to check this book out.

Charlene Martel said...

I'll have to look out for the book you mentioned too. It sounds great. Thank you for spreading the word about it!

Like you, I am really starting to enjoy short story collections for when I am pushed for time. My latest passion is short stories from other countries where I can learn about new cultures.

Charlene Martel said...

Anytime Mirage. I am happy you found this blog too. I try so hard to balance my reading between funny/light reading, and serious content but I often fail and end up reading mostly serious.

A great author for those days when you really want to laugh and relax, is Terry Pratchett. His discworld novels are especially funny.

Katie said...

Mafia style heaven and hell? I have to read it! :)

Charlene Martel said...

Yes, that was definitely among my favourite stories in this collection. It was very original, or at least I found it so.

I think my absolute favourite would have to be the Sugar Plum Fairies story, but I have a weakness for all things Fae. :)