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Fundamental Problems by [Tobias, Michael]
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Fundamental Problems Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 76 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Product Description

A small collection of stories about judgment, vengeance, inspiration, inter-connectedness, and devotion. With each tale, the reader is challenged to consider new ideas or perspectives. There are twists, surprises, lovable and detestable characters, epiphanies, and revelations that will stay with the reader long after the reading is done.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1791 KB
  • Print Length: 76 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DV200XQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #721,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every author has a place they write from.

Having recently read Salinger's "Nine Stories", it was clear Salinger was looking for meaning in life following the senselessness of WWII.

Reading this collection of stories, it seems clear the author is working through his own issues regarding faith. Based on the bio at the back of the book and his stories, I would say he comes from a highly structured religious area / background and is arguing for a looser / more tolerant 'live and let live' approach to faith.

The first story was quite surprising and very entertaining. So many sci-fi stories try and explore weird ideas, his explored faith. I thought this was a very bold move on his part. Faith has featured in other sci-fi stories (Arthur C. Clarke's 'The Star' comes to mind), but modern sci-fi tends to ignore it.

The second story was also quite powerful, although I thought it was marred by unnecessary profanity (just two instances, but they broke the narrative flow). The ending was quite abrupt, but a good ending nonetheless.

The remaining stories all, basically, revolve around the polemic of 'no faith is the right faith, so let people pick their own'.

I thought they were a little too preachy, perhaps reflecting too closely the author's own internal thought processes. Alternatively, it could be viewed as the theme biding these stories - much in the same way a collection of stories about elves would feature elves in them.

The final story is an introduction to a series he is writing. There is a definite 'fantasy' feel to it.

Some quotes from inside:

"I saw much, learned much, and forgot much."

"Exterminating entire worlds from a distance was quite tidy and convenient when done from a distance. He had never before had to deal with any messy emotional baggage such as interacting with them."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Fundamental Problems – A handful of fables” is a fun collection of short stories. Michael J. Tobias presents some unique plots and memorable characters. There are some rather interesting takes on spirituality and the concept of God (god) throughout with interesting twists and turns as the protagonist(s) head toward solution.

The genres range from science fiction sometime in the future to contemporary to fantasy; each told with a story arc and narrative that draws the reader along, interested in the next outcome.

The last story, “The Minstrel’s Tale – A Shadewalker Story” seems to be a harbinger of Tobias’ upcoming fantasy trilogy, “Shadewalker.” Assuming this is the case, the tale contained within this volume speaks loudly toward the necessity of grabbing and devouring the promised trilogy.

I recommend reading through this work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars; Decent Sci Fi/Fantasy Stories With Religious Themes May 30 2016
By Dr.Gonzo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this collection to be decent but not overly impressive. There are a good variety to the stories that showcase the author's creativity and that creativity is really what carries the book.

There were some things I was not fond of, however. Some of the stories seem to have twists that do not really fit with the overall narrative. There was a story about a guy whose lover has died, six months later he gets a call from her, finds out she looks different but sounds the same, later he dies and six months later she tries to call him. I felt like the author's reach exceeded his grasp here. The resulting story was confusing and the ending did not make sense to me.

I also felt like the stories contained hidden (or sometimes obvious) references to religion. I would not have minded it if it had just been one or two stories but I felt like the author went out of his way to include religious messages in his stories (even if it didn't really add much.) After completing this book I read the author's biography and sure enough he is a pastor. I don't necessarily object to religious themes in my reading but here I felt like sometimes the author was a little heavy handed with them.

Overall a decent (short) read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative stories with depth Nov. 14 2013
By John - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I appreciate this contribution to the world (it's free, so it is truly a contribution). I found it to be pleasantly creative with its variety of subjects, settings, and characters challenging me to consider the purpose behind the stories (I guess we all bring our own agenda to the table when we read ... maybe?). For me, they were vehicles to contemplate my authenticity or lack thereof; to be intrigued (one in particular was a real page turner for me); to acknowledge the part inspiration plays in my life; to think about the boundaries I've set regarding what I will and won't do ... apart from the deeper "stuff", I just enjoyed the collection and have recommended it to others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a new fan!!! Aug. 6 2013
By lelrod - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am going to have to say this is one of the best collections of short stories I have read in a long, long time. Each story is unique, and takes the reader down a path of stimulating and thought provoking avenues, weaving a distinct play on all the reader's senses. With engaging and enigmatic characters and plots that twist and weave, always pulling the reader to a conclusion that leaves one wanting more, the author does a magnificent job at keeping his audience turning those pages to see what adventure lies next. Whether you are a short story fan or not, I highly recommend this book--you won't be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental pleasures Sept. 3 2013
By bookbound - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fundamental Problems is a gratifying little book of short stories. Each cleverly-spun story offers surprises--little epiphanies for the characters and for the reader. I hurried through each story just to find out what was going to happen next! Still, each one is worth re-reading. This book will give you pleasure and make you think--ideal for a book club. Oh, and the title is brilliant.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How many of our realities are real? April 20 2016
By Dean P - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fundamental Problems is an eclectic collection of short stories ranging from one end of the science fiction/fantasy spectrum to the other with several of its offerings landing in the cracks between the standard styles where true inventiveness takes place. There is a surprising amount of variety in the six stories presented, and Tobias speaks from different points of view with varying tones as you move from story to story. Though the stories widely differ from each other in their settings and in the particular problems each set of characters are fundamentally faced with, there is a thread of questioning that runs throughout. Questions like what is reality and is our reality the only reality, lie at the heart of each story.

Tobias opts for quality rather than quantity when it comes to the details within each story.
This keeps the pace up and allows the reader to fill in and build up the bulk of the details for themselves in the best tradition of the genre. In this way the reader becomes a co-creator with Tobias of each of these universes. The result is that the characters' questions of reality become innately tangled up with our own questions of reality.

Read these stories and join Tobias in the creation of alternate universes that will lead you to question whether your reality is the only real there is.

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