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Month in review

Reviews:
Acting Class: Take a Seat by Milton Katselas
All in Fun by Jerry Oltion
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek by Lilian Jackson Braun
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
Dance of Shadows by Fred Chappell
Diary of a Dead Man by Walter Krumm
Earth Odyssey by Mark Hertsgaard
eNursery Rhymes by Mother Mouse
Ella: A Baby Elephant's Story by Kathleen Duey
Emily Waits for Her Family by Carol Zelaya
The Exchange by Inga C. Ellzey
Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam
For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone
Forgive My Trespassing by Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson
A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed by James Fenton
The Illusion by Tony Kushner and Pierre Corneille
Jimmy Buffet: The Man from Margaritaville Revealed by Steve Eng
The Little Lame Prince and His Travelling Cloak by Dinah Muloc Craik
Mojo Hand by Greg Kihn
The Monopoly Man by Barry B. Longyear
Nana Volume 2 by Ai Yazawa
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
The Perfect Infestation by Carol Emshwiller
Rising Waters by Patricia Ferrara
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Sea by John Banville
Seafarer's Blood by Albert E. Cowdrey
Shadow on the Stones by Moyra Caldecott
Signatures of Grace edited by Thomas Grady and Paula Huston
Silence is Golden by Penny Warner
"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly" Said the Sloth by Eric Carle
The Tall Stones by Moyra Caldecott
The Temple of the Sun by Moyra Caldecott
Tsunami by Gordon Gumpertz
Written on the Knee by Dr. Theodore Electris and Helen Electrie Lindsay (translator)

Don Quixote:
Q and Sancho Panza Strike Back
Harold and Kumar
The La Mancha Story
Disarmed and Dangerous

Miscellaneous:
The Classics

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for All in Fun

All in Fun: 01/17/09

My weekly review of a short story from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction qualifies for two challenges this week: the 42 Challenge and The Out of this World Mini Challenge that Carl V. is hosting in conjuction with the Dewey's Books Challenge.

This week's story, "All in Fun" by Jerry Oltion isn't exactly the out of the world type of story that Carl is looking for but it's still science fiction. It's grounded on earth, in Oregon and set on Christmas Day. There are no rocket ships, no planets beyond our own, no aliens, no time travel. Instead, there is magic and the power of wish fulfillment.

All in the FunToby believes he can have any wish he wants but there's a catch. It will only work if makes it on Christmas Eve as he's falling asleep. In the past he has wished a bully to move away, an exhibitionist to move next door, the Berlin Wall to fall and a peace treaty to be signed. Toby spends all year making notes and thinking of the best possible wish. This year, though, he loses track of his wishes and his last thought before sleep is "'I want to have fun.'" (p. 83)

The powers that be (Toby thinks it's probably Santa and not Jesus going through a rebellious phase) conger up a very strange day for him on Christmas. I'm not going to go into the details of what Toby considers fun but it's along the lines of the sophmoric humor and snarky wishes I've had sometimes myself. The day from start to finish had the dark comedy of Stephen King at his silliest and a few surreal moments that reminded me of Philip K. Dick.

"All in Fun" may not be the out of this world story that Carl had in mind but it does open up the question of just how Toby's wishes could change our world if he set his mind to it. Maybe some year he will end up on another world. Or maybe the world will be forever changed by one of his wishes.

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Comment #1: Sunday, January, 18, 2009 at 14:00:01

Carl V.

You are making me rethink my decision to not pick this up the other day when I was in the store. I see another trip to Barnes and Noble is in my immediate future! :)



Comment #2: Monday, January 19, 2009 at 19:39:10

Pussreboots

I highly recommend getting a subscription to the magazine. In my year and a half of subscribing I haven't read a dud yet. Plus they run a very nice forum.