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Posted June 10, 2012
A vampire dog, a human spaceship hybrid and a half fish, half hu
A vampire dog, a human spaceship hybrid and a half fish, half human. These are some of the things that you will read about in Jeff Carlson's short story collection called Long Eyes. This anthology according to the author is the book no one wanted him to publish except his fans. Long Eyes includes all of Jeff Carlson's short stories from when he first started writing to the present day.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I have to admit even though I enjoyed all of Jeff Carlson's stories that I've previously heard on podcasts or read in magazines I was a little apprehensive about reading Long Eyes. I do like science fiction but I find a lot of it goes over my head and I thought that might be the case with the stories in this anthology. Not only was every story excellent but none of them left me feeling confused as to what was going on. Long Eyes is very well written and shows how a great science fiction anthology should be.
One theme I found that seems to run through all of the stories here is loneliness. There is usually one character in each story that doesn't fit in with what is considered normal. A good example of that is in the title story Long Eyes. Which tells the tale of a woman named Clara who is physically connected to a space ship. Clara has been traveling through space for 600 years before landing on a planet and being attacked by humanoid creatures. Clara sees the potential in these humanoids and has to decide whether to help the creatures become more then they are or put in a distress call in to help her leave the planet.
This story was the first selection and really set the mood for the whole book, I loved the idea in this story about a lonely being comes across a race of people that are worse off then she is, and deciding if she should help those around her or do what is best for herself. Another story that has a similar theme is Planet of the Sealies. This one follows a woman named Joanna searching a planet in the distant future in search of dna to find out how past civilizations lived. This story was another one of my favorites and once again has a character that doesn't fit in with anyone else. I also loved finding out what a sealie is.
Some of the other stories that really stuck out as being great were Pattern Masters which was about an artist named Sauber who takes photos that don't belong to him from a photo developer for his art projects. Another one was Monsters which takes a look at a man who is infected by a hypodermic needle in a movie theater and how it changes him. Even mystery fans can get something out of this collection with the stories: Gunfight at the Sugarloaf Pet Food and Taxidermy and A Lovely Little Christmas Fire.
Long Eyes has something that will appeal to horror and science fiction fans alike. There is also a little mystery, fantasy and comedy thrown in as well. In addition to the stories I also liked the commentary that Jeff Carlson gives at the end of each story, it was kind of like getting a director's commentary for each story. My only problem with the anthology was that I thought almost every story in this anthology would make a great novel and I wanted more. I guess that is the point of a good anthology though, to make your fans want more.