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Master Minds (Third Flatiron Anthologies) (Volume 3)

by Juliana Rew

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I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion ( )
  lilnursesuhy | Mar 4, 2015 |
As with the vast majority of anthologies I've read, Master Minds is something of a mixed bag in terms of likes and dislikes. However, the general quality of the Third Flatiron anthologies continues to impress me and all the stories, whether they struck a chord with me or not, are well written.

The majority of stories include some kind of Artificial Intelligence and, after a while, despite the variations, I found I needed a break from that particular theme. But I'm nitpicking. What I want to do here is just pick out a few of my favourites.

The Abstract Heart by Martin Clark, the opening story, is an enjoyable journey through the seedier side of a future city. If it has a fault it's that it ends too abruptly, but I suspect that is as much to do with the limit of 3,000 words as it is the author's intent. Nevertheless a strong opening to the anthology.

Music of the Mind by Cherith Baldry is a future fantasy, thankfully lacking in any sort of A.I. theme, with a very nice twist which I didn't see coming. I found the ending a little obtuse, but that could be just me being thick!

The Right Books by Elliotte Rusty Harold might have appealed to me because of my past in programming or because of my liking for huge collections of books, but mostly it appealed because it's a well written and thought-provoking story about a library computer system going beyond its original programming.

And finally, my absolute favourite, Broken Toys in a Big Backyard by Vince Liberato. Original, entertaining, vivid, good twist at the end and all round an excellent story. I loved the setting, the ideas and basically everything about it. I'm not going to give away any of the story, you should just read it.

A very good anthology which, like most, has its ups and downs where my personal taste is concerned, but while all of the authors were new to me, they are all worth keeping an eye out for in the future, particularly those I've picked out above.

Meanwhile, I'll be keeping an eye out for future Third Flatiron anthologies. ( )
  nwdavies | Aug 21, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0692237860, Paperback)

Third Flatiron Anthologies presents "Master Minds," a new collection of science fiction/fantasy/horror short stories that consider the different meanings of intelligence. It's Question Time: What is intelligence, anyway? Who has it? Who wants it? Can humans recognize it in other species? Come the Singularity, will humans survive? Is survival only for the fittest? What will newly sentient creations want to do first? Can we love machines, and can they love us back? Could the 'Mozart effect' of music transform us? Are the super-intelligent more likely to be tormented by issues like happiness and the meaning of life? New and established speculative fiction writers offer a mind-boosting exploration of sentience and sapience. Contributors include Cherith Baldry, Lela E. Buis, Martin Clark, Ellen Denton, Robin Wyatt Dunn, William Huggins, Elliotte Rusty Harold, Jason Lairamore, Vince Liberato, Patrick McCarty, Russell Nichols, Konstantine Paradias, and NM Whitley.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:35 -0400)

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