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Eileen Gunn (1) (1945–)

Author of Stable Strategies and Others

For other authors named Eileen Gunn, see the disambiguation page.

24+ Works 354 Members 13 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Eileen Gunn (Photo by Leslie Howle, 2004)

Works by Eileen Gunn

Associated Works

Alternate Presidents (1992) — Contributor — 240 copies
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (2012) — Contributor — 224 copies
Filter House (2008) — Introduction — 207 copies
Year's Best SF 12 (2007) — Contributor — 185 copies
Eclipse 1: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2007) — Contributor — 148 copies
The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction (2010) — Contributor — 133 copies
Eclipse 4: New Science Fiction and Fantasy (2011) — Contributor — 116 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 113 copies
Futures from Nature (2007) — Contributor — 113 copies
The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF (2008) — Contributor — 105 copies
Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 77 copies
Time Travel: Recent Trips (2014) — Contributor — 71 copies
Last Week's Apocalypse (2006) — Introduction — 63 copies
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (2015) — Contributor — 60 copies
Tales by Moonlight (1983) — Contributor — 52 copies
Isaac Asimov's SF-Lite (1993) — Contributor — 52 copies
Genometry (2001) — Contributor — 46 copies
Isaac Asimov's Cyberdreams (1994) — Contributor — 39 copies
The Stories: Five Years of Original Fiction on tor.com (2013) — Contributor — 38 copies
80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin (2010) — Contributor — 37 copies
Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead (2017) — Contributor — 34 copies
The WisCon Chronicles (2007) — Contributor — 31 copies
Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka (2011) — Contributor — 27 copies
The WisCon Chronicles, Vol.5: Writing and Racial Identity (2011) — Contributor — 20 copies
The Big Book of Cyberpunk (2023) — Contributor — 19 copies
Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 36, No. 2 [February 2012] (2012) — Contributor — 12 copies
Pwning Tomorrow (2015) — Contributor — 11 copies
Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 24, No. 4 [April 2000] (2000) — Contributor — 10 copies
Narrative Power: Encounters, Celebrations, Struggles (2010) — Contributor — 10 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 46 • March 2014 (2014) — some editions — 9 copies
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 22 (2008) — Contributor — 8 copies
Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories (2019) — Contributor — 8 copies
MidAmeriCon II Souvenir Book — Contributor — 1 copy
Science Fiction Eye #08, Winter 1991 — Contributor — 1 copy
Science Fiction Eye #07, August 1990 — Contributor — 1 copy

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Reviews

It's a good collection, with a bit of a range of weirdness to it. I particularly liked the lead story, "Stable Strategies for Middle Management," but that's me. YMMV, etc.
 
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Jon_Hansen | 2 other reviews | Sep 1, 2022 |
Gunn's short stories are varied, wildly imaginative, funny, scary, and a bit profound. Whether it is an alternate career for Richard Nixon, mankind's first meeting with an alien species, or people deliberately turning themselves into insects, there's something here for every taste. Don't miss it.
½
 
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datrappert | 2 other reviews | Mar 21, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I remained truly impressed by Small Beer's publication record, but I have to admit that Gunn's work is a little weird for me. She builds absolutely dizzying, riveting stories that have me going, 'Wait. What?' at the close -- even in the fairy-tale stories, which is a subgenre I adore.

This collection will be an utter hit with fans of Gunn; it just wasn't quite one for me. Three stars.

To test if you are a fan of Gunn, visit Tor.com for some of her fiction:

rel="nofollow" target="_top">http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/12/the-trains-that-climb-the-winter-tree… (more)
 
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MyriadBooks | 4 other reviews | Jul 28, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Titling a collection “Questionable Practices” is just asking for it.

I, however, am a kind reviewer not given to snarky comments. I will not sacrifice accuracy for cheap sarcasm.

It is a clever title, though. Would that all the stories were clever or funny.

The two original works here, “Chop Wood, Carry Water” and “Phantom Pain”, are good. The first story is a retelling of the story of Rabbi Loew’s golem in Praha (Prague). It has gentle wit and sorrow as the golem relates his story, an account of the centuries since he was created, and how he hasn’t always been able to fulfill his task of protecting the local Jews. There’s no humor in the second story. It’s the sometimes clinical, but moving, account of a wounded American soldier in the Pacific Theater of World War Two. As he crawls to safety, he has visions of his future life. The pain he will experience in that life is not only from an amputated limb but lost loved ones as well.

“Up the Fire Road” is a funny, if ultimately inconsequential, story about a couple that finds a Sasquatch who casts its sexual glamour on them. “Speak, Geek” is a short-short story, one of those science fiction pieces first published in Nature. Its life in the corporate world, but some of the workers are dog-human and cat-human chimeras. It goes past “funnier than you would think” into “funny”.

I even liked “Thought Experiment” even though I generally hate it when any Baby Boomer mentions Woodstock in any way. It’s a time travel farce.

There are a lot of collaborations here, mostly with Michael Swanwick. In “’Shed That Guilt! Double Your Productivity Overnight!’”, Mr. Swanwick offers a unique service to Ms. Gunn. It’s the funniest piece in the book despite swipes at Republicans and Dick Cheney that don’t work even as coherent political satire.

A techno-hippy meets the oncoming of the Singularity in the moderately amusing “Hive Mind Man” written with Rudy Rucker. Amusing … with a creepy, ambiguous ending hiding behind the California mysticism.

But there’s a whole lot of stuff here that isn’t funny, surrealist pieces that go nowhere, weird takeoffs on tv shows that are neither interesting or funny as parodies or in any other way. “No Place to Raise Kids: A Tale of Forbidden Love” is a gender bender with a pregnant Spock – the Vulcan, not the pediatrician. Poem – and I don’t mind poetry – “To the Moon Alice” is about the old tv sitcom The Honeymooners. “Michael Swanwick and Samuel R. Delany at the Joyce Kilmer Service Area, March 2005” is a surrealistic (and fictional) dialogue between the two writers as transcribed by Gunn.

And then there is “The Steampunk Quartet”, parodies subtitled “A Different Engine”, “Day After the Cooters”, “The Perdido Street Project”, and “Internal Devices”. Yes, I recognized all the parodied titles even if I haven’t read them all. But I found none but the parody of K. W. Jeter’s Infernal Devices even a bit funny.

Not being a fan of fairy tales in general, it was to be expected that I wasn’t all that fond of the Swanwick-Gunn collaboration “The Trains That Climb the Winter Tree”. A lot of dead people here, at Christmas time, and the unconvincing claim that “understanding is stronger than truth”. Another fairy tale-like story making a stab at delivering wisdom is “The Armies of Elfland”. Here the same authors deliver an interesting violation of story clichés in a story about some nasty elves who kill off most of the world’s people, leaving only children. One, Agnes, must learn to endure the torments of the Queen of Elfland. I take it as a feminist rejection of fairy tale expectations.

Sort of striding the intersection of the fairy tale stories and the literary parodies is “Zeppelin City” from, again, Gunn and Swanwick. I loathed this story and rushed to finish it. Totally unconvincing as an alternate history despite various early 20th century figures making an appearance, dull and plodding as literary parody despite zeppelins and bottled brains and autogyroists, shaky in its transitions between scenes, and banal in its observation that new technologies don’t lead to utopias.

Gunn fans I’m sure will want this collection. The rest of you … I’m not sure. If you’re curious about the acclaimed Gunn, I’d go for the cheap Kindle edition.
… (more)
2 vote
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RandyStafford | 4 other reviews | Jun 30, 2014 |

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