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Quantum Zoo by [McKenna, Bridget, McCoy, R.S., Hindmarsh, John, Smyth, A.C., Furie, Ken, Stegall, Sarah, Batt, S.E., Dyson, Scott]
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Quantum Zoo Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 254 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

From a ghost park to a time-travel penitentiary of murderers to a menagerie of Egyptian deities, Quantum Zoo presents 12 compelling stories involving 12 very different living exhibitions. Including a wonderfully atmospheric tale by Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Bridget McKenna.


"A King in Exile" - Lady Penelope Smythe-Everton, a nineteenth century British aristocrat with a penchant for adventures to exotic locales, leads an unconventional life. When she brings home a very curious egg from one such excursion, the unconventional becomes...unique.

"Echoes of Earth" - Tentacle-laden aliens abduct family man Bill when he steps out for an evening jog. He awakens powerless, not in the pulp-classic alien embrace, but displayed in an interstellar zoo and tormented by the diverse alien species that pass through.

"Bestiarum" - Humanity's last survivors hurtle toward a barely-habitable planet light years away in a failing lifeboat, stressed from generations of wear-and-tear. When Zookeeper Thimet meets a group of schoolchildren in the ship's Bestiarum, one little girl's curiosity gets the better of her. What dangerous secret has Thimet been hiding for decades...?

"Ignoble Deeds" - Lila embarks on a disquieting errand to give her dying and troubled mother peace of mind. It takes every bit of craftiness and deceit she can muster to get inside the new tourist attraction that's set up shop in an old, abandoned zoo. You won't believe what happens once she does...

"At Home in the Stars" - When two manicure-loving, jacuzzi-seeking, pink cadillac-admiring friends tangle with the alien masters of the galaxy, who wins? The ladies? The aliens? Or good ol' human nature?

"The Most Dangerous Lies" - A new zoo puts some of history's most evil monsters on display for the public to see in the flesh, but is their newest addition - Jack the Ripper - too dangerous to be left to his own devices?

"Playing Man" - Corporate executive Jordem Lun revisits Earth during his annual vacation. Maintained as a vast safari preserve, the old home planet displays gorgeous scenery and breathtaking wildlife, but something mysterious acts in its shadows.

"You'll Be So Happy, My Dear" - An inexperienced starfarer seeks local help when her spaceship malfunctions near a backwater planet. The most prominent ad on the internet directs her to just the right repair shop. Or does it?

"Skipdrive" - Alien leviathans, discovered floating in space beyond the orbit of Neptune, provoke a "space race" between the competing nations of Earth. Maintenance Chief Eliza, half-cyborg and immune to the strange side effects of the skipdrive, suspects that the first ship on the scene - hers - just made a very big mistake.

"Demon Rising" - A monster lives under little Katherine's bed. She knows he means her no harm, but would anyone else agree?

"Your Day at the Zoo" - What if you inhabited the consciousness of a great cat or a lazily coiled serpent or a great ape for just one day? What would it be like?

"Serpent's Foe" - Bastet, divine protectress of the gods themselves, lies defeated in a cage. Trapped in beast form, imprisoned behind bars, and confused by nightmares, she longs for freedom.

* * *

A wonderful volume of exciting, enthralling short stories from a dozen of the hottest indie authors in science fiction and fantasy, all for one low price. Visit these 12 exotic worlds on a thrilling ride through Quantum Zoo!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 681 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1939417066
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Orion's Comet (14 June 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • 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
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #624,212 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By lucpet on 20 October 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Lime Sherbet, This Will Cleanse Your Literary Taste Buds Between Novels 15 October 2014
By Pheel - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall it is an interesting collection of short stories, using the broad concept of "zoo" as the basis. I only found two of them to be truly below par: "Your Day at the Zoo" is a concept piece that never really explains the concept. You find yourself popping being different animal consciousnesses without explanation or any background. "Serpent's Foe" is a story set in Egypt that was so boring and trite that I finally did something I never have done in over one hundred online books: I started to skim the pages, then skip parts, and finally gave up altogether.

On the other hand, there are several stories that capture the imagination and are quite enjoyable. Most are akin to some of the old "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery" stories of Rod Serling fame. While I enjoyed all of the rest to some degree, I think my favorites are "Skipdrive" and "Ignoble Deeds". Skipdrive is a story that brings one full circle on a story arc, though you don't realize it until the end. Ignoble Deeds looks into a concept I have never seen brought up in a story before. It is also a good story of misdirection. "Bestiarum" brings out a concept that could be a possibility, especially if Man ever travels to distant stars in a generational ship. "The Most Dangerous Lies" is an enjoyable story where historical figures can be time-kidnapped and put on display. Eighteenth-century scheming and deviousness meets with futuristic capabilities.

All in all, it was a book worth my time, especially since most stories were quick to read. It may not be a five-star read, but it is enjoyable as a shorter diversion between novels.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and moving 28 January 2015
By Amanda C. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Normally, I'm not a huge fan of anthologies, and least of all sci-fi anthologies...this is probably because I got hold of some when I was a kid that weren't-so-great and it put a bad flavor in my mouth on the whole concept.

But after reading "Quantum Zoo", I feel healed of my aversion. This collection is absolutely amazing, with stories ranging from the deeply moving to the terrifying to the "oh s***, how clever!". Many of them I still think about today, months after finishing the tales. There were a few that fell a little flat in my eyes, but they were in such magnificent company, it would be hard not to.

Unfortunately, I can't describe in detail a lot of the different stories for fear of spoilers. The zoo theme means that a lot of the stories have twist endings or surprise plot changes midway through, and I'd hate to ruin that. Fun fact: For most of the book, I didn't even realize that the stories were supposed to have a zoo theme, because I apparently can't read covers or summaries. (Good job, Mandaray!) While that doesn't say much about me, I feel it does say a lot about the subtlety and skill with which the authors in this anthology write their tales.

At first blush, you might think there are only so many ways for characters to find themselves in a zoo, and the ways you'd get there might be pretty cheesy. But not so in QZ. Instead of taking the easier route and just making it all about strange creatures in futuristic cages, QZ goes out of its way to examine how zoos make people feel. Everyone has their own way of looking at zoos, their own unique perspectives that can span across any time or place. Zoos also hold a special place in our culture, and a lot of the stories examine the feelings behind that as well. Some even create entirely new cultures, place the zoos in them, and then examine how that works. Again, I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but QZ really takes the reader on a multitude of amazing, intriguing journeys; many of which I didn't think were even possible.

In short: This is a fantastic anthology that you should read as soon as you can. To me, it epitomizes the true soul of sci-fi: Expanding the mind of the person consuming it, and exploring what makes us human...or what makes us abandon our humanity. Fan or no of anthologies or even sci-fi, I still strongly encourage you to pick this up. There is so much variety to be found here that I truly believe there is a story in here for everyone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Anthology, a few winners and a couple of duds 15 May 2015
By g3amazon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like reading anthologies. Reviews of them on the other hand are not so simple. There is always that nagging thought when picking up a collection of stories that I will be getting something akin to the leftovers of a Whitman Sampler; all the stories no one would dare to take a bite of.

The stories here vary in length, with the longest being,“Skipdrive”, which is a good read of about 80 pages. The rest are 40 pages or less, with a couple that have less than 10 pages.

Like any anthology there are some good stories here. The first, King in Exile, I really enjoyed as it reads like an Edgar Rice Burroughs piece. “Bestiarum” is well written, though felt a little preachy. “At Home in the Stars” was a fun read with some laugh out loud moments.

If the order of the stories was reversed or either of the last two stories had been the first offering I may have missed out on some fun reads. “Your Day at the Zoo” is written in 2nd person point of view and I don’t like that mode of storytelling. “Serpent’s Foe” is about a shape-shifting Egyptian princess and comes from the page very scattered.

You may disagree, that’s what makes reading anthologies fun for me, I know going in I may read something that doesn’t do it for me though I may find an author I want to read more of.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed lot, with some very good stories 14 July 2015
By J. Gunnar Grey - Published on
Verified Purchase
If the stories in this spec fic anthology had been reversed, I might not have read them all. As things stand, the first ones are the best. "A King in Exile," "At Home in the Stars," and "The Most Dangerous Lies" are five-star stories; "Echoes of Earth" and "Ignoble Deeds" would earn four stars if reviewed individually.

But the later stories, for various reasons, didn't work for me. "Playing Man" felt cliched with a greedy corporation, yadda times three. "Skipdrive" didn't have a solid ending, "Your Day at the Zoo" is second person PoV and kinda runs off the rails, and "Serpent's Foe" never quite came together.

Funny, how the dividing line between the stories I liked and those I didn't is so sharp. We'll call this one three stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable and fun to read anthology. 19 March 2016
By Katinka - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of short stories by a number of authors that I had never read before. The connecting theme seemed to be that the stories involved alien zoos in some way. Without giving away too much, I found it a very entertaining book, often with some very amusing or creepy twists involved. In many ways it was could have been a collection twilight-zone style stories. I found this book very enjoyable and fun to read.