Item description for The Cuckoo's Boys by Robert Reed...
A decade's worth of prolific short stories are showcased in this compilation of Robert Reed's best work. Among the dozen thought-provoking tales is the never-before-published "Abducted Souls," about a college student who becomes increasingly unsure of himself and his self-worth when the alien abduction he experienced as a child is questioned. Also included is the Asimov's Science Fiction Reader's Choice Award--winning "Savior," about a military commander who is held accountable for tortuous acts that may have saved the human race. The hot topic of cloning is discussed in futuristic terms in the title tale, "The Cuckoo's Boys," which tells of a lonely genius who clones himself, not once, but millions of times, and of a teacher who tests and challenges three of these clones. Two ageless aliens become friends with Ash, an immortal human, as he strives to help them recover lost memories in "Night of Time," a selection taken from the popular Marrow book. The collection closes with an afterword by the author, in which he details the genesis of each story.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2005
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846371 ISBN13 9781930846371
Reviews - What do customers think about The Cuckoo's Boys?
Misleading product description Aug 28, 2008
The description of the Kindle edition of this book implies that this is the Kindle version of Robert Reed's short story collection. Not so! This is just the short story "The Cuckoo's Boys", and contain NO other stories. Buyer beware!
he sees your monsters now Mar 19, 2007
Robert Reed excels at the human side of science fiction, looking at how regular folks would be affected by space-faring, alien contact, or time travel. While there are occasionally mysterious aliens or ultra-futuristic science in Reed's stories, his most important characters are the very real humans with ordinary lives who must learn to cope with those phenomena. In this short story collection, winners include "On the Brink of That Bright New World" in which a murderer uses humanity's greatest breakthrough to cover his ignorant crime; "The Children's Crusade" in which kids make a mockery of adults' false idealism toward space travel; and "One Last Game" in which current people have their lives shaken up by a visit from the future. Some other stories here with great humanistic themes include "The Cuckoo's Boys" and "Abducted Souls." Unfortunately this collection is rather uneven, with several stories failing to develop their thematic ideas or resolve the travails of the characters (for example, "Savior"); while some are merely thin philosophical ruminations latched onto poorly-plotted stories that go nowhere interesting (for example, "Coelacanths"). Another problem is the two stories that are add-ons to Reed's novel series, which do not function as stand-alone entities and hold little narrative interest for those not familiar with the novels. But despite some missed opportunities for deep thematic breakthroughs, Reed's works are very readable and stick with what's really most important, even in science fiction - real people. [~doomsdayer520~]
An Appropriate Sampling of Reed's work Dec 31, 2006
If you haven't read Robert Reed before, and are simply interested in him, this is a good place to start - or as good as it gets for him. Reed's prose takes some getting used to, in that his stories are usually intricately plotted and etched with atmosphere, and his narrative comes together like a jigsaw puzzle. The payoff is in substance - his short works come off as meaty as a novel in many cases, with vivid characters and weighty dilemmas.
Much of the work in this volume deals with familiar Reed themes - flawed belief systems and hidden agendas abound - but his style makes most of them satisfying reads. For fans of his "Marrow" planet-ship mythology, 2 stories are included here, including "Night of Time," one of my favorites. The titular story is a satisfying tale of childhood and loss, and it along with "Winemaster" ranks at the top of the pile.
The story "Coelocanths" reads like a narrative experiment, new readers might find it just a little too cryptic (I did), and the story "First Tuesday" comes off (to old fans, anyway) as a rehash of the theme of his earlier "Birth Day." But Reed treats us to an informative and insightful Afterword that makes for an entertaining read.
Overall, a great sampling of Reed's short work for newcomers, and a satisfying collection for longtime fans. If it prompts more people to read his best works, such as Beyond the Veil of Stars and Marrow, all the better.
Outstanding Collection Jan 3, 2006
Most collections of short stories such as this contain one or two good ones and several stinkers. The overall quality of these stories by Robert Reed is amazing. Highly recommended.