From the age of steam and the heirs of Dr. Frankenstein to the asteroid belt to the halls of Miskatonic University, the writers at Book View Café have concocted a beakerful of quaint, dangerous, sexy, clueless, genius, insane scientists, their assistants (sometimes equally if not even more deranged, not to mention bizarre), friends, test subjects, and adversaries.
Table of Contents: "The Jacobean Time Machine", by Chris Dolley; "Comparison of Efficacy Rates", by Marie Brennan; "A Princess of Wittgenstein", by Jennifer Stevenson; "Mandelbrot Moldrot", by Lois Gresh; "Dog Star", by Jeffrey A. Carver; "Secundus", by Brenda W. Clough; "Willie", by Madeleine E. Robins; "One Night in O'Shaughnessy's Bar" by David D. Levine; "Revision" by Nancy Jane Moore; "Night Without Darkness" by Shannon Page and Mark J. Ferrari; "The Stink of Reality" by Irene Radford; "Value For O", by Jennifer Stevenson; "The Peculiar Case of Sir Willoughby Smythe", by Judith Tarr; "The Gods That Men Don't See" by Amy Sterling Casil.
Read by Aaron Abano, Tess Van Horn, Paula Hoffman, Christopher Price, J. Paul Guimont, Corey Gagne, Eric Pollins, Kymberly Dakin, Marguerite Vine, Christine Marshall.
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I found these periodically entertaining 🔬🧫🧪🌡 💥
An introduction and 14 short stories, the longest of which is just over an hour, riffing on mad science. These fall more on the fiction than science side. They are mostly profanity and sex free, and oddly feature quite a few stories involving lawyers and legal issues. The first few stories were blah, and I almost closed the book, but they pick up and I found some gems (ch9 and 10) Best thing I can offer is a guide for folks to pick and choose concepts that might appeal to your Abby-normal brain.
Ch1 - Intro to the stories. Skip this; it’s unnecessary.
Ch2 Jacobian Time Machine - Dull science article chronicling how time is slowed or quickened using cold or hot water. ⭐️
Ch3 Comparison of Efficacy Rates - Dry science log of field experiments on what can kill lycanthropes. There are weird asides as science falls victim to the sharp reality of werewolf teeth. ⭐️⭐️
Ch4 A Princess of Wittgenstein - Entertaining steampunk starring an automaton and a cheeky French golem girl, the mystery of her past, and the question of souls. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch5 Mandelbrot Moldrot - Trippy story of mini robots vs a fractal god, trying to be a deep fable on order vs chaos. Kind of a random mess of protons, quantum particles, and gelatinous mold. ⭐️⭐️
Ch6 Dog Star - In homage to 1950s style fiction, space pilot and his talking dog crash on an asteroid and ruminate on the mysteries of the universe while fixing their ship. Showcases science topics the author finds interesting, from string theory to dark stars. Best part is the author’s joke at the end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch7 Secundus - Steampunk in the 1800s, a scientist brings back his son. Is it love or control? ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch8 Willie - Frankenstein retold in suburbia. Thoughtful, but lacking the conflict of the original.⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch9 One Night in O’Shaunessy’s Bar - Sharp gal behind the bar sees the potential in patron’s anti-gravity glove. Wait for it... the ending put a canary eating grin on my face. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch10 Revision - Starts with a feminist flower child turned lawyer and ends with a powerful time travel ethical quandary. An excellent story, but contains profanity, drugs, and a highly triggering scene involving r@pe and murder. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch11 Night Without Darkness - In ye old England, asking what if our nightmares were caused by parasites that could be extracted and experimented upon? And what would happen if the experimentee gains control of the experimentor? Twilight Zone. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch12 The Stink of Reality- disgruntled professor denied tenure invents TV that can deliver smells. Brain washing, zealotry, and awful unintended consequences ensue. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch13 Value for O - as the title suggests, this is a Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally, overacted send-up of a “scientific” search to value The Big O. This is a satiric, scripted dialogue that I only wish Meg Ryan had narrated. Fun, but for adults only. 😜⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch14 The Peculiar Case of Sir Willoughby Smythe - British mystery involving a missing man and the quest for immortality through automatons. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ch15 The Gods That Men Don’t See - Science, myth, and danger collide with scientists studying howler monkeys deep in the Mayan jungle. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
1 person found this helpful
- Jeff O'Connor
I'm a completist and quit after the 2nd story
Not for me. I'm not sure what they were going for with this anthology. It felt like an audiobook version of an Asylum movie.