Title: Uncategorized: The ABD and Other Tales
Author: Sue Lange
Genre: Short stories, Sci-fi
# pages: 280
Date read: February, 2010
Honestly, in general I'm not too big a fan of short stories. Possibly because I subconsciously hold them to the same standards as novels, which is blatantly unfair as there's not nearly the same time to create an atmosphere, sympathy for the characters and an interest in the plot.
Sometimes you have to go out on a limb though, and as I am a big fan of sci-fi and thought the premise of Uncategorized... sounded interesting I eagerly agreed when offered the chance to review it. And Sue Lange didn't disappoint. The stories were well-written and interesting, sometimes taking the altertive universe to the extreme (or absurd), which is just how I like it!
The first story, "The Timestoppers", threw me for a loop, as it turned out it was a link to an audio story, and I therefore couldn't "read" it on my e-reader. I agree with Sue Lange that the story worked better as an audio than it would have on the written page, but disagree that e-books should include multi-media whenever possible. While my e-reader does support audio-files, it doesn't have internet access, so I had to return to my computer in order to listen to it, which meant that I saved it for last. Not a problem if you're prepared for it, or if your e-reader supports this format, but a bit of a hassle if it doesn't.
A minor detail though and as the rest of the book can easily be read without this first short story that's probably what I'll be doing on subsequent read-throughs. Because I definitely will be rereading it. I was fascinated by "Letters to the Chintzes", describing the treatment of their daughter who'd been bitten by a rabid animal, and would have wanted "The Failure" to be a lot longer than it was - musical tales have always been interesting to me. I was intrigued by the link between "The Club" and "How to Dispose of Sneakers", loved the final twist of "Peroxide Head", and was appalled by the deception portrayed in "Buyer's Club". However, my favourite was definitely "BehaviorNorm" with its interesting consequence of a person believing machines always to be right, and suddenly being proven wrong.
A fun read, that I'd happily recommend to others.