I read several of Johnson's stories after reading your discussion of her hPL inspired novel, her 26 Monkeys goes right up there with Carroll's Fall Collection and A Wheel in the Desert, and the Moon on Some Swings as being among my favourite short stories. So I will be looking at not just Bisson but the other writers you mention. All the best Guy. This looks fantastic!
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Bears Discover Fire is the first short story collection by the most acclaimed science fiction author of the decade, author of such brilliant novels as Talking Man and Voyage to the Red Planet.
It brings together nineteen of Bisson's finest works for the first time in one volume, among them the darkly comic title story, which garnered the field's highest honors, including t Bears Discover Fire is the first short story collection by the most acclaimed science fiction author of the decade, author of such brilliant novels as Talking Man and Voyage to the Red Planet.
It brings together nineteen of Bisson's finest works for the first time in one volume, among them the darkly comic title story, which garnered the field's highest honors, including the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and Locus awards. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January by Orb Books first published August More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Review just for the title story first posted on Fantasy Literature. The narrator, referred to by his nephew Wallace Jr. While driving h Review just for the title story first posted on Fantasy Literature. In a scene that encapsulates their characters and values, Uncle Bobby teaches Wallace Jr.
And then the bears show up, holding torches aloft while Bobby finishes fixing the tire as fast as humanly possible.
Another is the gradual loss of honor, values and decency among humans, while the bears are developing a nascent civilization and exhibit decency and sharing, despite their inability to speak. View all 4 comments.
Jan 08, Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: science-fiction , short-stories. You're parked on the verge of a thick copse of trees, a flat tire marooning you on the side of the road. You're just working the nuts off the wheel in preparation for swapping in the spare when you hear a rustle from the bushes and look up. A wild bear is staring at you.
A huge, upright, completely normal bear, other than the fact that like some furry Indiana Jones he is holding a burning torch in his right paw. That's how Terry Bisson's story Bears Discover Fire and this collection begins, wit You're parked on the verge of a thick copse of trees, a flat tire marooning you on the side of the road.
That's how Terry Bisson's story Bears Discover Fire and this collection begins, with the revelation that the bears of North America have discovered fire and ceased hibernating for the winter, instead gathering around campfires for warmth. It's a great introduction to Bisson's imaginative style, where fantastic concepts are spun with compelling writing and a subtle sense of warmth that I really like. Even the odd story with a less-than-amazing concept underpinning it is mostly carried by Bisson's deft handling of character and pace, and the great majority of the works in this compilation are real winners.
If you haven't read it, Google it now. No really - stop reading this review and find it online. It's only a page or so long, and it's a great, great piece of very short SF. Necronauts is a real stand out- a fantastically compelling story about a blind artist who is drawn into experiments where people explore the boundaries between life and death, a realm where his sight is restored to him.
While the idea is not a new one - the film Flatliners preceded Bisson's story by three years - the direction the story takes is novel, and far more interesting than take that made it to the big screen. It's a real winner. England Underway is another standout, a story where a single lonely old Englishman's impossible desire to visit his granddaughter in the USA results in the entire nation of England, Scotland and Wales detaching from its moorings and slowly powering away from Europe and across the Atlantic.
The way protagonist Mr. Fox deals with this monumental occurrence, and the way British society adjusts to their home suddenly becoming the world's largest boat is both hilarious and plausible. The final story The Shadow Knows Rounds things off nicely, with a satisfying first contact story led by an aged astronaut called in to speak with an alien entity that will only speak to the elderly. There are, of course, a few bum notes - no short story collection is perfect. The Coon Suit fails to be either surprising or horrifying which seems it's intention and Partial People is a little weak too.
By Permit Only is also weak — it just didn't work for me at all, and carried a sour hint of that made it an uncomfortable read, in a bad way. Four furry stars. Oct 07, Stephen rated it liked it Shelves: award-winner-hugo , , single-author-collections , short-fiction , ebooks , award-nominee-hugo , science-fiction , multiple-award-nominee , multiple-award-winners , award-nominee-locus.
On average, I am going to go 3 stars on this collection but I do think that there are some really good to excellent stories 4 and 5 stars in here. While a decent tale, I was not as impressed by the Hugo Award winning title story and am not sure why it is so highly regarded.
The rest of the stories are a mixed bag from good to okay with a few I just didn't 3. The rest of the stories are a mixed bag from good to okay with a few I just didn't care for. Oct 13, Josh rated it really liked it. Each one of those stories is nearly perfect. You get an interesting world with the edges blurred just enough that you need to squint and consider for yourself what might be going on underneath the action. They may have felt a touch dated, or may have missed the emotional impact that Bisson tries to set up—The Coon Suit is one example of this.
Great collection overall. This set of short stories makes me wonder if the author was working on a Philip K. Dick homage. The only thing consistent is some form of weirdness , although almost each one has a distinct vibe. Some are just plain crazy failed experiments, but a few are gems. This is the best story in the collection. It's a gentle tale of how a This set of short stories makes me wonder if the author was working on a Philip K.
It's a gentle tale of how a phlegmatic fellow deals with problems and surprises, while most around him act with an absence of empathy or wisdom. Amusing, but not too deep. Or maybe it's just deeper than I can detect. It isn't touching like the titular story, but it is more famous, because it has been filmed and reprinted repeatedly. Check that film out; it's not quite word-for-word from the short story, but it's close enough, and the film is a brilliant little seven-minute jewel that adds to the bizarreness of the story.
Hopefully someday someone will find a higher-resolution version than this one. Here's the IMDB link. Actually, it was filmed several times , but that's the best of them. Briefly, the story is about aliens investigating these strange creatures that call themselves "human", but they're pretty disgusted by what they discover.
It is provocative for reversing our anthropocentrism as well as positing a tragic answer to the Fermi Paradox , and commenting on the Chinese Room philosophical question. It was nominated for a Nebula the year after "Bears" won it; I think it deserved it more. Appalachia uplifts beyond Earth's atmosphere. Then what? This is where I started to see the PDK similarity: Bisson occasionally seems to just create a very strange idea, and just play it out to see what happens, hit or miss. ATMs getting a little too assertive, even judgmental?
It starts off a lot like "Bears Discover Fire", then goes… nowhere. Wings on babies instead of bears with fire. Innovative and experimental, but not in a way I found at all appealing. But at least the idea was interesting. It was also nominated for a Nebula award. Not quite as good as the earlier five-star ones. Guys from the future, retrieving art that otherwise would be lost. Good idea, right? The second failed experiment.
Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories
Podcast: Play in new window Download. Author spotlight. Published in Jan. Reprinted by permission of the author. It was Sunday night and we had been to visit Mother at the Home. We were in my car. The flat caused what you might call knowing groans since, as the old-fashioned one in my family so they tell me , I fix my own tires, and my brother is always telling me to get radials and quit buying old tires.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
I appreciated the story but didn't see the joke at all. Obviously others enjoyed it more: apart from the Hugo and Nebula, "Bears Discover Fire" won four other awards and was nominated for another two, probably a record. Having said that, the competition from other short stories in was not very strong. Terry Bisson writes very American science fiction, rooted in a strong sense of place Owensboro, Kentucky and time the present day, or something very like it ; his best-known books include Talking Man and Fire on the Mountain , set in an alternate history where the US Civil War had a quite different course.
Bears Discover Fire
"Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson