Review: Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi

Green Onion Blog Original: Posted January 16, 2017

This review of Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi was originally posted in January 2017. I remain a significant Scalzi fan, and this book remains one of the reasons why.
Please enjoy this throwback to the Green Onion Blog.

I received an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have had to be strategic with my requests on NetGalley. For one, I do not own an e-reader, heck I barely use my outdated tablet. Which leaves me to read any eBooks I receive on my phone. Nobody wants to read massive fantasy epics on their phone screen. So, when I saw John Scalzi’s new short story collection, Miniatures available, it was an ideal match. Not only for the accessible reading that I could enjoy leisurely but also because Scalzi is amazing at everything he composes.

I have grown to respect and idolize John Scalzi more and more as the years go by. The Old Man’s War series is a joy ride in the often overbearing Sci-Fi genre. I am an advocate for Ghost Brigades is the greatest name for a novel ever. Redshirts won the friggin’ Hugo for best novel in ‘013.

Enough said.

Scalzi’s Twitter account is one of the most entertaining reasons to use the app. And most importantly, as a blogger, is a trend-setting leader in our community. 

Scalzi writes what, and how, he wants to, not shying away from big ideas or unpopular opinions. What makes him great is that he seems like he is having fun and is still humbled by his career. That comes through in his books. When an author enjoys what he is writing and not concerned with criticisms, or flowering things up for the masses, the fans are rewarded.

That is what Miniatures is all about, a collection of stories Scalzi wanted to write. Silly thoughts, brain farts, spilt out on the page in whichever manner he chose. I cannot help but love it.  It is an honest way to write and I like to do the same.

Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi is available for purchase now, and was published on December 31, ‘016. Not a large book at 144 pages. It is a collection of 17 short stories, and 1 poem, the largest word count in the bundle weighing in at 2,296, the average around 1,300 words. Many of the stories included have been previously published.  Some as far back as 2001.  Thankfully, there are four new pieces exclusive to this collection.

When reviewing individual stories, I need to tread lightly as not to spoil the humorous treasures. However, some highlights include alien pets, super-villain insurance, Twitter tales, and my personal favourite, Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back.

Most of the stories are written in the style of interviews, letters, or in one case a company memo. There is a light-hearted humour theme behind every piece, making the entire series an enjoyable romp into the quirky mind of the author. The stories get better and better as you make your way through. 

This book was right up my alley. The humour kept me coming back for more and I am honestly sad that it is over. The best part for me was having this on my phone over the Christmas holidays. When I had 5 or 10 minutes to distract myself at the in-laws or at the airport I could hop into a quick story and be rewarded with a fun, tight, little tale. 

4 out of 5 simply for the entertainment value. I would highly recommend this as a necessity for any Scalzi fans. Moreover for anyone that enjoys short humour reads. I selfishly want everyone to go buy this book today so John Scalzi will feel more inclined to compose a Miniatures 2.

Thanks, booknerds, be nice to your toilets, you never know what they are saying behind your back.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Irena S. says:

    Sounds really fun! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually just finished reading ‘Old Man’s War’ yesterday! Huh, small world. This really does make me want to go give this a read though, especially the part about the smart appliances talking about us behind our back. That sounds like comedy gold…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green Onion says:

      That’s awesome, Old Man’s War has such a great concept. If you look at the chapter that is basically a brochure for the new body, that is kind of how these shorts are written. And if you like the appliance idea wait til you read about the intelligent yogurt that rules the Earth

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may be off to Barnes & Noble after work today…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have only read The Old man’s War. I really need to pick up this collection so I can familiarize mmyself with more of his work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green Onion says:

      Redshirts is a great read too

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TeacherofYA says:

    So…are they just short stories? Or are there graphics involved? Bc the cover art makes it look like a fun graphic novel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green Onion says:

      I agree the graphics look fun, but no this is collection of short, very short fiction. There’s an illustration for each corresponding story but thats about all

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TeacherofYA says:

        Well, thanks for the review!!

        Liked by 1 person

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