a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks
reedrover

Books: Human for a Day

Human for a Day is a theme anthology that covers various beings becoming human, corporeal, incarnate, animate, or mortal for a limited period of time.  The topics range from statues made animate to vampires swapping bodies with teenagers to steampunk machines gaining free will.  There are also two stories about pets becoming humans, in case you wanted to revisit the old saw.

 The stories are almost universally good, with a nice editing job, excellent length, and reasonable accessibility (though the story about the warrior through time and the story about the Mad Hatter running around with Shakespeare both take some work).

Perhaps because of the season, "The Very Next Day," when Jody Lynn Nye's incarnation of Santa Claus visits New York City in September, sticks in my head as one of the more pleasant and re-visitable stories.  Seanan McGuire's "Cinderella City" was cute and fun in a rum-soaked San Francisco sort of way, though her obsession with the various Summer King/Winter Queen family spats is a tad head-tilting.  "The Dog-Catcher's Song" was so straight up (and sad) that I had to go back and check that it really was Tanith Lee.  I am aware that Jim Hines is working on a book where objects can be pulled from the story and made real, so "Epilogue" felt very homey and sad, rather than immediately casting me into despair. It's only as I work on my reflections about the book that the stunning horror of the last story is setting in.

I don't know what it is with authors trying to end anthologies on such a downward beat, but like the book Running with the Pack, I'm sorry to say that some of the gruesome aspects in books stick harder when one of the stories sets up a death that I can empathetically feel and cannot disbelieve.  The book is somehow diminished in my mind, because the shadows loom larger than the characters.  And so it is with specific regret that this book - as well crafted as it is - is being tossed immediately into my giveaway pile. 


-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --

January
Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3
Unusual Suspects
Harvest Moon
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty)
Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name, with a pre-finished commentary here
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Fang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love
Must Love Hellhounds
Truthseeker

February
Dark and Stormy Knights
Tortall and Other Lands
River Marked (2/28 - it arrived a day early)

March
Questionable Content, vol 1
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Lifeblood
Magic Bites
Skinwalker, A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Running with the Pack
Magic Burns
Blood Cross

April
"Skyblaze" Adventures in the Liaden Universe #17
Kings of the North
Goblin Tales
Do Not Sniff the Bees, Two Lumps book 6
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Mercy Blade
The Initiate Brother

May
Angelology
City of Pearl
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses

June
After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar
Magic Slays
Ghost Ship (e-ARC)
Warbreaker

July
Quarter Share
Half Share
Full Share
"Intelligent Design" (short story in the Liaden Universe, published online at Baen)
Heroes in Training
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: Those Left Behind
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Tiger's Curse
Calamities of Nature, vol 1
Troubled Waters
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
In Fury Born

August
Naked City
Unnatural Issue
Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Summers at Castle Auburn
"Kin Ties" (short story in the Liaden Universe, found here)
Flying Blind
Archangel
Hunger Games
The Shape-Changer's Wife
A Matter of Magic

September
One Salt Sea
"Guaranteed Delivery" (short story of the Liaden Universe, found here)
Wayfinder
Double Share as an audiobook from PodioBooks.Com
Cast in Ruin

October
Captain's Share (as an audio book)
Land of Painted Caves
Owner's Share (as an audio book)
Beauty and the Werewolf
A Beautiful Friendship
Mastiff

November
Down These Strange Streets
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
"The Space at Tinsori Light," Liaden short story found here
Prized
The Wild Ways
Kris Longknife: Daring
Scholar

December
Human for a Day

-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --

February
Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya Huff

August
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi

October
Gamestorming (gave it to a co-worker)

-- Books Still in Progress --
These are books that I haven't totally given up on, I've just... put them aside... for now.
The Brand Within
If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails
Swords and Dark Magic
Battlestations
Wise Man's Fear
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