Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Book #31 of 2016: Space Station Rat | Book: Grotto of the Dancing Deer: And Other Stories

Grotto of the Dancing Deer: And Other Stories (The Complete Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak Book 4) by Clifford D. Simak
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Sometimes I feel like a bad fan of thing. Apparently Clifford D. Simak is a big name in sci-fi, he wrote books from 1930 until around 1980, but I've never heard of him before picking up this one.

Very oddly, the intro of this book set my expectations very low -- the person writing it repeatedly said how dated Simak's writing now was, how his dialogue was rough, etc. It was the strangest intro of a collection I ever read.

The writing was quite dated (duh, he wrote from 1930 until 1980), but that wasn't why I stopped reading this book. None of the stories hooked me, or even mildly interested, so after reading the first couple I just abandoned this book.


Space Station Rat by Michael J. Daley
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This book had a strong high point: The animal's voice was perfect. I totally believed the main character was a (super intelligent, genetically modified) rat.

However, every person in the book was somewhere in the okay to god awful range. There were only four humans: the boy who finds the rat, his parents, and the captain. The captain got no characterization than "fat and useless," he only showed up in the story when conflict was needed. Every time he showed up, the author made sure to mention how fat and useless he was. The fat comments got really, really old. As far as I could tell, the parents didn't care one bit about the boy, they only focused on their work. (Their work may or may not have involved saving the whole planet, so some distraction would be understandable, but they acted like their kid was some stranger who was getting in the way of their work on purpose.)

The robot was the worst character though. How a robot could be so unbelievable, I don't even know.

The title explains the plot: A rat got onto a space station by mistake, and had to learn to survive there. That's really about all that happened, other than she became friends with the boy as well.

The book was very very light and somewhat cute. The rat character is the only reason I finished it, however she wasn't enough to make me want to read any further books in this series.

Currently reading: Wildcatter, by Dave Duncan. One of the oldest books in my to read pile.

Count of books in my to read pile: 168. Even if I never got another new book, it would take me about three years to get through all those!
Tags: 2016 books, book review, book: grotto of the dancing deer and oth, book: space station rat
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