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Unpredictable Worlds: Stories by [Knauss, Jessica]
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Unpredictable Worlds: Stories Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 284 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Product Description

A teacher controls her students with an edible microchip. A reporter turns into a rhinoceros. A couple's efforts to eat local go frighteningly awry. If you're looking to be surprised, puzzled, or just plain entertained, pick up this omnibus. There's something for everyone!

More than twenty years in the making, UNPREDICTABLE WORLDS contains all of Jessica Knauss’s published and prize-winning short fiction as of March 2015 and a few of her best stories never before seen in print or ebook. Zany plots and outrageous characters will stretch your belief and tug at your heart.

WARNING: These stories contain exaggeration, elision, and disregard for “the real world.” Some even exhibit a tone of blatant optimism. However, they respect human speech patterns, admire good grammar, and hold proper punctuation in the highest regard.

Enjoy!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2368 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Açedrex Publishing (May 15 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VU4IC5U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Format: Kindle Edition
OK, full disclosure. I know Jessica. She edited my books, The Astreya Trilogy and The Laughing Princess. So let's get that out of the way right now. However, on the other and more objective hand, I have read a great deal of science fiction and fantasy, and way back in the early 70s I wrote my PhD thesis on the great days of the SF pulps.

Unpredictable Worlds doesn't belong in a genre, unless you're going to migrate most of the best short stories ever written into SF and F, which would just be silly. What I'm trying to tell you is that this is damned good writing that'll have you wondering how you missed that you were being sandbagged by a plot twist or two that you didn't see coming. Cf O. Henry, Saki (HH Munroe), Kipling and their followers in the noble art of compressing a story down to its essence.

Jessica Knauss finds the deeply disturbing and scary in ordinary situations and everyday life. When she starts, all is as normal as reaching for your morning coffee, but before you're half way through, it's a whole other story -- one that should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Jessica had me from the innocent beginnings of her story about the teacher who goes to wildly unethical extremes to improve her students. I was sucked right in to the narrator's mind as if I had been reading a letter from a friend. It was not until things were going dreadfully wrong that I realized they'd been heading in that direction for some time. That's good short-story writing. And it's just one of the many in the collection. The art is to conceal the art -- which has become a cliché only because it's true. Jessica's seeming artlessness is really very clever, as she is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And fun. A bit of modern Bradbury Aug. 17 2015
By Hill's Pills - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stories to stimulate the mind and move the heart. And fun.
A bit of modern Bradbury.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great June 19 2015
By Christine N. Ethier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

It was guilt that made me read this book. Let’s be straight up about that. The publisher is one that I’m auto approved for on Netgalley, and I hadn’t read anything from them in a long time. So I picked this out of guilt.

It’s awesome.

As anyone can tell from the title, this is a collection of short stories, most of which are fantasy based. The stories range from the really short (flash fiction) to several pages. The book itself is loosely divided into sections - Magic Realism, Mircofiction, Rhinos, Hemingway, and Women. There is an afterword that goes into detail for some of the stories.

The best section is the collection of Rhinoceros Stories, with Micro fiction being a close second. This doesn’t mean that the other sections are bad, but these two sections stand out the most. It does have to do with the power of the writing in the Rhinoceros section because, as many of you are no doubt aware, rhinoceros are hunted for the stupidest of reasons. Knauss’ section includes stories based around different species and ideas. There is a story of a woman who thinks she is becoming a rhino (and who falls in love with a man who loves books), the artist who is determined to do portraits of the Sumatran Rhinos, as well as a story about talking animals. There is also a series of flash fiction here. Knauss’s short stories in this section make her into the literary PR person for the species. If you love animals, you need to read this book for the Rhino section alone.

The Micro fiction is good and sometimes startling, but in some ways it can be more touching than some of the longer works. This is especially true for “The World’s Largest Rocking Chair”. Not that everything is sweetness and light. “Stairs to the Beach” is particularly Twilight Zonish.

While the other sections aren’t quite as good, they are not bad. There is a wonderfully powerful story called “The Consequences of Neglect and How to Make Amends” – which challenges the rhino stories as the best one of the volume. The Hemingway stories are mostly interlinked, though “El Novillero” is the best of the three. Furthermore, there is a disturbing story about teaching.

This collection is by turns funny, touching, thought provoking, anger inducing, and faith affirming. It’s great.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary situations become deeply disturbing and scary May 21 2015
By Seymour Hamilton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
OK, full disclosure. I know Jessica. She edited my books, The Astreya Trilogy and The Laughing Princess. So let's get that out of the way right now. However, on the other and more objective hand, I have read a great deal of science fiction and fantasy, and way back in the early 70s I wrote my PhD thesis on the great days of the SF pulps.

Unpredictable Worlds doesn't belong in a genre, unless you're going to migrate most of the best short stories ever written into SF and F, which would just be silly. What I'm trying to tell you is that this is damned good writing that'll have you wondering how you missed that you were being sandbagged by a plot twist or two that you didn't see coming. Cf O. Henry, Saki (HH Munroe), Kipling and their followers in the noble art of compressing a story down to its essence.

Jessica Knauss finds the deeply disturbing and scary in ordinary situations and everyday life. When she starts, all is as normal as reaching for your morning coffee, but before you're half way through, it's a whole other story -- one that should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Jessica had me from the innocent beginnings of her story about the teacher who goes to wildly unethical extremes to improve her students. I was sucked right in to the narrator's mind as if I had been reading a letter from a friend. It was not until things were going dreadfully wrong that I realized they'd been heading in that direction for some time. That's good short-story writing. And it's just one of the many in the collection. The art is to conceal the art -- which has become a cliché only because it's true. Jessica's seeming artlessness is really very clever, as she is.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good company July 24 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Twists and humor. This is the kind of book I always carry on a long trip and know it will keep me occupied and amused. I was surprised by the darkness of some stories in a good way. They made me laugh. It's funny, diverse and I don't feel like I have to read it in order, I actually prefer to pick a randomn story and feel excited about how weird it will go soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It isn't my usual genre but I enjoyed reading them May 17 2016
By Alexia Janie Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
"Unpredictable Worlds: Stories " by Jessica Knauss is my first read from this author. It is a series of short stories that deals with fantasy based fiction. It isn't my usual genre but I enjoyed reading them. I liked that the stories were short enough that I could read one without too much time on my hands. This book is good for teens on up. Some of the stories are a little out of the ordinary but younger readers that enjoy reading may enjoy this too.

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