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Impossible Places by Alan Dean Foster
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Collection of short stories.
contents:
# Lay Your Head on My Pilose
# 22 • Diesel Dream
# 34 • Lethal Perspective
# 43 • Laying Veneer
# 55 • Betcha Can't Eat Just One
# 65 • Fitting Time
# 80 • We Three Kings
# 94 • NASA Sending Addicts to Mars! Giant Government Coverup Revealed!
# 109 • Empowered
# 123 • The Kiss
# 128 • The Impossible Place
# 145 • The Boy Who Was a Sea
# 159 • Undying Iron
# 188 • The Question
# 200 • The Kindness of Strangers
# 216 • Pein bek Longpela Telimpon
# 238 • Suzy Q
# 249 • The Little Bits That Count
# 261 • Sideshow

I'd only read one of them before ("The Boy Who Was a Sea").
Overall, I thought the collection was fairly mediocre. And, apparently, Foster rather agrees (I think). In the introduction, he talks about how, in his viewpoint, short stories are like "practice" for writing longer works, and makes an analogy about how sometimes an artist's sketch in a notebook turns out to be better than the final painting; so, sometimes a short story turns out to be great.
From what I've read in the past, I'd say most authors disagree. Those who write short stories do not consider them to be "lesser," in fact, I've read those who are of the opinion that only more-accomplished writers can really succeed at the more-difficult format of the short story.
I also thought the collection was a bit heavy on the inclusion of celebrities and pop culture in general. Not my kinda thing. I found it mystifying again, in one of the story introductions, where Foster was saying how he gets tired, sometimes, of trying to make his stories "contemporary" and he longs for the "Sense of Wonder" writing that truly transports the reader to another place and time. (The story this is introducing, btw, fails in that regard ('Undying Iron'), IMO) But still, I was left wondering - so WHY "try" to be contemporary, if that's not what you actually like to write! I know Foster has published several very commercial works (movie tie-ins and such), and I guess he is attempting (and succeeding) to just be commerically marketable?

One story deals with the pure SF/fantasy-adventure characters Pip & Flinx, whom he's written several novels about. That wasn't bad - I may check more of them out sometime. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345450418, Mass Market Paperback)

For three decades science fiction legend Alan Dean Foster has captivated readers around the world, from his debut classic The Tar-Aiym Krang and his inspired scenario for the first Star Trek movie to a host of New York Times bestsellers, including Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Flinx in Flux.

In this collection of twenty brilliant odysseys of the imagination, Foster once again soars beyond the limits of reality—where the real thrills begin. . . .

NASA Sending Addicts to Mars!: It was the most insane idea in the annals of space travel—and the only one that would work.
Diesel Dream: Sometimes on dark, lonely highways dreams do come true, and this trucker’s hope was the best one of all.
Sideshow: Flinx hadn’t a clue about the alien dancer, but Pip knew trouble when she saw it.
Empowered: A magnificent male discovers the not-so-super part about being a superhero.
The Question: A bold adventurer determines to solve one of life’s profound mysteries.

. . . and fifteen other amazing stories!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)

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