Friday, November 30, 2018

Poetry For Your Brains

In your hands is a poetry journal written by an undead poet, recounting his firsthand experience during the zombie plague. Little is known about the author before he turned into a zombie, but thanks to his continued writings in this journal - even after his death - you can accompany him from infection to demise. Through the intimate poetry of haiku, the zombie chronicles his epic journey through deserted streets and barricaded doors. Each three-line poem, structured in the classic 5-7-5 syllable structure, unravels a little more of the story. You'll love every eye-popping, gut-wrenching, flesh-eating page!

Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum is something I discovered whilst perusing my local bookstore for some other zombie lit. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the haikus formed an actual story, about a guy having a real bad day at work, instead of just being a random assortment of undead poetry. Another bonus was the size of the book: easy to carry with me in my bug-out bag without taking up much room. It would also make the perfect gift for any zombie fan this holiday season.

As always,

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bloody Holiday

Zombies Attack The Night Before Christmas by TJ Martin is a mere flash of bloody mayhem. I hoped for something more than just a revised version of the famous poem by Clement Moore — it was over too quick!

In this version, zombies attack Santa and his team of reindeer. The narrator’s family helps rescue Santa, but the reindeer aren’t so lucky. I wish Martin had written a short story with zombies based on the poem, rather than just reword the original. However, if you are building a Kindle collection of zombie lit, consider this a little stocking stuffer.

As always,

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Right Off A Cliff

This exciting and bloodthirsty story tells of the sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge and his epic journey of transformation and redemption, brought about by a plague of ravenous zombies. After the supernatural visitations of the long-dead Jacob Marley, himself killed by zombies and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come he comes to realize that he is London's only hope. In a city under siege by the undead there is only one man with the character and sense of mind able to stand in their way. A thrilling and unusual twist on the festive tale originally written by Charles Dickens.

A Zombie Christmas Carol by Michael G. Thomas is the perfect example of someone jumping on the zombie bandwagon, and running it right off a cliff (Thomas should stick to sci-fi & leave the undead alone). Well, somewhere, a Christmas tree is mourning the loss of its family because this was a complete waste of paper. The lack of creativity was overwhelming, and this version came off as a lazy attempt at a mash-up.

As always,


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Over This Plot

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families—playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.
Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects...reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at—and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared. 
The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever...

The Neighbor by Joseph Souza lacks the quality found in Unpaved Surfaces or the originality of Need to Find You. I've been enjoying Souza's transition from zombie novels to mystery-thrillers, but this novel has left me wondering if the author has "sold out." While the author's writing style is still as captivating as ever, with alternating POVs between Leah and Clay, the story premise is an over-done theme. Unfortunately, I can't go into detail without giving away spoilers.

Souza also spends more time working current social issues into his story than developing his characters. Clay is a drunk, Leah is a bored housewife, Russell is a cheating husband...I could go on, but my point is everyone is a stereotype, without any effort to give their personalities the depth I've come to expect from the author's characters in previous novels.

The best thing I can say about The Neighbor is this novel would make a great movie for the Lifetime channel.

As always,

Monday, November 26, 2018

In Your Face

If you enjoyed the hit series, Black Mirror, you’ll be drawn to this anthology of twisted, sci-fi tales that touch on the hot political topics of today and the speculative social issues of tomorrow. 

•ANDROIDS & ANARCHY – A galactic bounty hunter races against the clock to keep an evil aristocrat from using his synthetic fiends to take over the universe.

Resistance Is Brutal by Chanta Rand takes current social issues and places them into sci-fi settings, mixing sociology and science fiction to create stories for readers to make sense of ongoing real-life events by challenging their perception of our culture:

THE UTERAL SUSPECTS features a future version of the #MeToo movement.

YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH shows dating in a world based on numbers, in which people are judged by their digits.

EXPERIENCING ETHICAL DIFFICULTIES highlights the influence celebrities have on young viewers, as well those attempting to control the celebrities.

A FORGONE ILLUSION uses advanced technology to remind readers, be careful what you wish for.

ANDROIDS & ANARCHY tackles gender identity on a galactic level, but it is merely a sample of a longer story not available within this anthology.

If Carl Jung and Ray Bradbury had a love child, the result might be Chanta Rand. I only wish she had included more stories within this flash fiction collection, but the author has definitely made her mark with this one.

As always,

Sunday, November 25, 2018

This Story Is Inbred

Insanity breeds insanity. You do whatever it takes to keep your family together, no matter how depraved.

DISTURBED by Emery LeeAnn is just violence for the sake of violence. It takes more than graphic brutality to create a true horror story. There is no suspense or mystery, and very little dialogue. I don't expect much character development in a short story, but I expected something more as far as the twisted family is concerned.

As always,

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Long Lost Friend

Janice knows better than to make a scene. The other kids will make fun of her. Her mother's boyfriend will do much worse. But it's hard to keep quiet when a dead friend walks into the room.

Beckoning by Joshua Scribner is a short story about a middle schooler haunted by a missing friend. Both Janice and Sadie suffered all kinds of abuse, but Janice is the only one still breathing. Janice soon realizes, her friend is beckoning to her for help.

This story is a lot longer than the author's usual flash fiction, and far more detailed, as a result. The setting and Janice's home life build up the suspense in layers, as Sadie's fate is revealed. The ending is both tragic and beautiful.

Definitely a must for any Scribner fan.

As always,

Friday, November 23, 2018

Nicely Done

As wealthy as he is, Franco can't wait to put his hands on his mother's inheritance. Fact is, his lifestyle is an expensive one. Sports cars and escorts--especially certain types of escorts--aren't exactly cheap.
Of course, he could look for a job. But, really, why should he shackle himself to a job when that crone of his mother keeps the purse strings, and she keeps them so unreasonably tight?
And now, after the umpteenth row with her, he realizes he'd better take the situation into his own hands. A plan. A plan is all he needs.

DEAR SON by Peter Rey is a great horror short, written in the style of an Alfred Hitchcock episode. I felt sorry for Franco, after the flashback to a disappointing childhood memory. I don't think it justifies plotting to kill his own mother, but I feel he is motivated by more than just an inheritance. I suspected Franco's plan would would unravel, but the ending surprised me. I enjoyed this story far more than THE WIND TOWER by Rey. I'd love to see the author write more stories with this classic style.

As always,

Thursday, November 22, 2018

*Insert Trombone Slide Here*

A man seeking to forever escape the shadows that plague him locks himself in a room with a lighting system which should eliminate all nearby shadows, only to discover too late that he has made a fatal error.

SHADOWS by Antonio Simon Jr. is basically just a few paragraphs, nothing shocking. Very predictable. Not even close to what I expected from this author.

Simon wrote another short story, NO THANKS, which is one of the very best stories I read in 2018, so I'm at a loss to explain why he bothered releasing this one as a stand-alone. Aside from the pages and pages of advertising tagged onto the end.

As always,

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Vampires As Weapons

It's morning again in America . . . but not for Scott Dugan.

Three years have passed since young vampire Scott Dugan and his uncle found refuge in Mexico. They thought they had put their troubled pasts behind them, until the day a familiar face shows up to ensnare Dugan in a scheme that will transport him to the killing fields of war torn Central America and beyond. 

And when Dugan learns the truth about their mission, he must decide whether he owes his allegiance to the human race he was once a part of, or to his newfound self.

The Space of Life Between is the final book in the Applewood trilogy by Brendan P. Myers. I'm quite satisfied with the ending. HOWEVER, Myers could and should continue this series beyond three books. The author's writing becomes increasingly stronger with each installment, and, by the third book, Myers has transformed a coming of age vampire story into a political drama with several POVs and multiple layers of suspense. With so much effort put into this trilogy, I think Myers should consider giving Dugan an ongoing series.

I can't remember the last time I read this kind of story evolution. I am so damn impressed by Myers growth as an author, as well as the development of his characters and the details of the various settings. Whether Dugan finds himself in a small town, a circus or El Salvador, the reader is transported along with the young vampire through intense dialogue and mind-shattering action. I know I never expected a journey like this when I first read Applewood.

If your looking for some horror with serious depth, please treat yourself to this series!

As always,

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Puberty With Fangs

Fourteen-year-old Scott Dugan is both desperate survivor and hunted casualty of a vampire outbreak that decimates his small Massachusetts town. His uncle believes science offers hope and takes the boy on the run from shadowy forces tasked with exterminating those like his nephew. 

But when the two separate, Scott embarks on an epic journey that takes him from cheap carnival sideshow act to comfortable refugee in the home of a wealthy and reclusive man with his own dark tale to tell. 

As the chase moves from the low deserts of Arizona to the high peaks of Colorado and into the White House itself, Scott must avoid becoming a pawn in someone else's deadly game. And when he learns that self-discovery for those like him is only found by embracing all he has become, he must weigh his longing to remember who he was and where he came from against the certainty that in doing so, he will never see the sun again.

Fledge by Brendan P. Myers is the sequel to the vampire novel, Applewood. The first book featured a group of young boys, not unlike Stand By Me, with a horror a bit like Phantasm, and blended two mysteries into one fantastic vampire story. This sequel reveals what happened to Scott Dugan during the time he was away, struggling with his affliction, taking place between the alternating timelines of the original outbreak story.

Through Dugan's POV and his personal transformation experience, readers learn the nature of vampires in Myer's creation. I'm happy to say the undead in this trilogy are a force to be reckoned with, drawing upon the classic vampiric themes. As a human, Dugan already possessed a couple of psychic abilities, which have only been strengthened, but he also has developed a few other new skills. While I am enthralled with the main character and his fight for survival, I keep wondering what the deal is with the sweet-tooth cravings.

When I began this series, I would have described Applewood as a coming of age with a supernatural twist. However, with the introduction of the government characters in Fledge, the author has transformed this series into a preternatural crime drama. I'm hoping Myers will reveal what became of Stephen Harris and give Dugan the justice he has earned through his horrifying journey.

Even if you're not normally into vampires, I strongly recommend this trilogy to readers who appreciate a good mystery-thriller.

As always,

Monday, November 19, 2018

Ashes to Ashes

The stones uncovered by a young couple in the back garden of their new home seem harmless, even useful--until the nightmares start. Now they must look to the past for answers before a malevolent entity drives them away...or worse.

The Girl in the Stones by Sherry D. Ramsey captivated me from the moment the cat freaked out. From Gillian's nightmares to her grandfather's dementia, the author does a great job of building suspense and creating suspicion. After the mystery of the fires is revealed, I wondered how peace could ever be attained.

As much as I enjoyed this short story, I'm left with so many questions, I wish the author would consider writing another story about Alice.

As always,

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Karma Is A Witch

After being thrown to a time portal by Nora Bell’s magic, Marianne finds herself face to face with her own past, one she must now share with Marcus. Will witnessing the life events, that led to having met her at Stuart Harlow’s mansion, change the way he sees her? And will his worry about having left Cai alone, back in their own time, allow him to stay focused and clear headed, around a woman who once held such allure over him?
Will Cai and Nora find a way to bring Marcus back from the past?
And will they condemn Marianne to stay locked there, with her own demons?

Marianne by Ruth Miranda is the third book in the Blood trilogy. In the first book, Blood, Caius realizes his family has been keeping several secrets from him, only to be faced with blood, teeth, lies and deceit, as Cai attempts to find the truth behind his many "gifts." Scars, the second book, jumps ahead two years, as Caius and his twin brother Marcus search for their negligent father. Using preternatural characters, Miranda addresses family drama from physical abuse and traumatic loss to issues such as self-cutting, depression and addiction throughout her trilogy.

Marianne, a witch with her own twisted secrets, adds yet another complication to the lives of the brothers. However, in a twisted way, she strengthens the bond between the twins. I had a strong dislike for Marianne, until this book. Once her backstory is revealed, she didn't strike me as the evil narcissist I took her for. Suddenly, everything about her made sense.

I enjoyed this installment more than the second one, but not quite as much as the first. Miranda included a lot of sex and graphic violence not present in Blood and Scars. I understand the necessity, but I felt like the author lost some of what sets her apart from other writers in this genre by using overdone plot devices. Ironically, much like Marcus, I can't get enough of the witch.

The ending is an absolute shocker. I felt like the author burst into my living room and kicked me in the face...I could not have been more caught off guard. Thankfully, Miranda included an author's note to dull the pain. I can't wait to read more from this author!

As always,

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Unending Deep

Born a poor lobster fisherman's son on the stark, Maine coastline, Jason Kingsley has always struggled with becoming more than what his father intended for him. After meeting and falling in love with the beautiful Delphi Arans, he feels his destiny has finally been fulfilled.

Their joy is unrivaled, something he's only ever dreamed of.

But soon disturbing events begin to invade the couple's life, and Jason starts to doubt the nature of their relationship as well as his sanity.

As his world unravels around him, Jason comes to realize that some secrets are better left untold, and others are worse than death itself.

And The Sea Called Her Name by Joe Hart reminds me a little of Night Ocean by H.P. Lovecraft and R.H. Barlow. With so much emphasis on the couple's happiness in the beginning, there's only one way for the story to progress. The family issues both Jason and Del dealt with in their younger years hints at the trouble they soon face within their marriage. Despite a few moments of the "stranges," this story is largely familiar: disappointment and resentment, followed by suspicion and confrontation.

However, Hart takes the marital discord to a nightmarish depth with the inclusion of an ancient mythos. The ocean serves as a perfect reminder of the unknown, a constant threat to peace of mind. As the sea reveals a leviathan of a secret to Jason, his life will change in all possible ways.

As always,

Friday, November 16, 2018

Double Twist

When Dempsey accidentally kills her uncle she’s a little bit shocked to say the least, but she’s more shocked about the fact she’s gone into early labour.
As she battles through contraction pains and wonders what to do with Uncle Dorchester’s body, she’s filled with dread when she realises that Uncle Dorchester’s two best mates, Ralfie and Jonesy, witnessed the whole incident.
Now, for the sake of her baby, Dempsey prepares to do anything she can to get away with murder…

DEMPSEY'S DEMONS by R.H. Dixon is absoluting brilliant! I enjoyed this story so much, I sincerely wish the author would consider extending it into a novella. I love the twist with Ralfie and Jonesy -- that was impressive enough, but the very ending had me blown away.

As always,

Thursday, November 15, 2018


When Ford wakes up to find his favorite arm missing, he knows he doesn’t have long before years of progress slip through his fingers. Can he get it back? On one hand, the grumpy cop in charge of the investigation doesn’t believe Ford had a third arm in the first place. On the other hand, his young partner has a good grasp on the latest tracking technology. All they need to gain the upper hand is to point out who would want to steal Ford's God damn arm in the first place.

GIVE ME BACK MY GOD DAMN ARM by P.T. Phronk is a science fiction short story, with a bit of social commentary and humor mixed together. To be honest, I thought it sounded like a dumb idea for a story, but I enjoyed reading it, and I LOVED the very last sentence.

As always,

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Confusing Abduction

In this short tale of horror, a trip to the supermarket turns into a nightmarish ordeal for a mother and her young son.

Lure by D.W. Nathan is a flash fiction piece about a child abduction, but the twist is easy to miss after slogging through the endless descriptions. I understand what the author tried to accomplish with describing the various shoppers, but it's sure to lose readers in one of the aisles.

I think the story might go over better, if Nathan just skips the shopping trip and skips to the last few scenes of panic.

It's always been hit or miss when I read a D.W. Nathan story...this one isn't a miss, but I've read better by the author. I recommend MUSE or INFESTED, instead of Lure.

As always,

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Mostly Glitter

Emma has only one wish for her 13th birthday; to follow a strange presence that greets her each time she visits a place with the name 'Devil' in it. As she gets closer, it begins to consume her and everything that she loves.

DEATH AND GLITTER by Simeon Gregory is filled with plenty of suspense and horrific imagery, but Emma is a very flat character, and nothing substantial is revealed about the entity she meets. This story is't my cup of tea, and, while it's not the author's worst story, Gregory is capable of writing much better stories.

I recommend the stories Cinema 9 or Wooden Nickel instead.

As always,

Monday, November 12, 2018

Connecting The Dots

Doctor Wolfstone’s client seems harmless enough. She’s a librarian by occupation and rather plain in appearance. But what’s in her is not so plain, and it’s not harmless. Worst of all, it likes to come out once a year and hunt its prey.

Sinister Seductress by Joshua Scribner is lengthier than the previous installments of Doctor Wolfstone's Clinic, and more is revealed about the entity troubling his current patient. However, the author still keeps the doctor shrouded in mystery. There is also a noticeable pattern of each story building on the previous one, so the stories do need to be read in a certain order.

I recommend reading each installment based on the date of publication: Unnamed Water Demon, Night Whispers, Hungry and this one. Normally, I love Scribner's in-the-moment style of writing, but that only works for flash fiction. If the author is moving into a mini-series or simply writing longer stories, there needs to be more character development.

For this series to reach its full potential, readers deserve to know more about the doctor.

As always,

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Blast From The Past

The thing inside Doctor Wolfstone’s next patient has been there for years, but it’s been hanging around this realm much longer than that. It really wants to come out and meet the skilled hypnotist. And it’s very hungry.

Hungry by Joshua Scribner is much more interesting than the previous two installments. If you haven't read NIGHT WHISPERS yet, do not read this story until you do. In fact, stop reading this review.

The small reference to the demon from another story finally gives some much needed depth to the character, Wolfstone. Unfortunately, Scribner is still feeding tiny bits to readers, instead of delivering a real backstory.

As always,

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Voices Carry

In this installment of the series, Doctor Wolfstone visits Jimmy Shepard on Death Row. The evidence against Jimmy is clear and overwhelming. But he claims not to remember killing anybody. Why does Doctor Wolfstone believe him? What does the hypnotist see in Jimmy?

Night Whispers by Joshua Scribner brings back the good Doctor Wolfstone, a hypnotist who helps patients remove demons from their lives. Jimmy has been hurt by cheating girlfriends over and over, which appears to be his motive for killing many happy couples. However, Wolfstone is able to determine Jimmy has been used by the same entity for years.

Once again, Scribner doesn't reveal much about the demon itself, which is a real shame. There isn't much revealed about the doctor either. I wish the author would include more about one or the other, or, better yet, both.

As always,

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Doctor Is In

Introducing a man with hypnotic methods that can lay your mind out like an open book. Doctor Wolfstone knows more about his clients than they will ever know about themselves. He can find their demons and try to get them out.

DOCTOR WOLFSTONE'S CLINIC: UNNAMED WATER DEMON by Joshua Scribner introduces readers to a doctor who uses hypnotism to help fight his patient's inner demons...literal demons.

In this particular tale, Carolina is only 35 years old, but she's suffered a lifetime of tragedy. Unfortunately, she can never remember the details of the horrific events which befall the people around her.

The flashbacks are a great way to build-up suspense, but not much is revealed about the nature of the demon. I wish the author had added a clinical entry cataloguing the demon, especially since there are more installments of Doctor Wolfstone's Clinic.

As always,

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Disappointing In So Many Ways

Jason crouched in the bushes! Trying to sneak a peek at Lisa could get him landed in jail. It didn't matter about their earlier encounter. Jason was quickly becoming obsessed with the lonely housewife. Lisa might live in a million dollar home on Lake George, NY but it was still a prison of sorts. Expected to be home when Jonas Brown called to check in at noon everyday! It was nightfall now. All he wanted was one more quick look before he left...

The Darkness by Randy Norton is mostly erotica and very little to do with horror. After reading The Shimmer Effect, I wanted to read another story by the same author, but I'm disappointed to discover Norton's writing style isn't consistent.

As always,

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Title Is NOT A Typo

One hundred years in the future, enormous mining vessels scour the surface of the Moon, prospecting for valuable metals and minerals. Trapped onboard for months at a time, the crew use drugs, virtual environments, gambling and pitfights to make life bearable. 

Joel Miller doesn’t need any of those things. He has a new reason to live: an enemy. A private war to the death. 

But Miller has no idea that there’s a hidden side to his duel. The hate keeping him alive is the most valuable commodity the Moon has to offer...

Duallists by David Wailing is a crime drama with a science fiction setting, mixed with elements of horror and mystery, and it's bloody fantastic! At first, with the story told from Miller's POV, I thought this might be a futuristic psychological thriller about a man's obsession with revenge, but Wailing uses the sci-fi details to create a technological trail hinting at what might really be going on at the Moon mining facility.

Miller's personal war is merely one piece of a complicated puzzle. While the author doesn't go into much detail about the characters, aside from Miller, this emphasizes how superficial their friendships and interactions are, which is just as well, once the true horror is revealed towards the end. Miller's reaction to the jaw-dropping revelation is the ultimate chess move.

Regardless of which genre you normally read, Wailing has created a story which will appeal to many different kinds of readers. I highly recommend Duallists.

As always,

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

God Has Left The Building

The year is 1942. Britain is in the grip of the Second World War, bringing blackout conditions to much of the country.

For several years, Briarwych Church has remained locked and unused. Arriving to take up his new position, Father Lionel Loveford's first task is to open the great wooden door and get the church back into use. But something lurks in the shadows. A terrible tragedy once took place in Briarwych, and now the locals live in fear of a vengeful spirit that has sometimes been spotted looking out from the church's windows.

Although he doesn't believe in ghosts, Father Loveford soon discovers that the entire village of Blackwych lives in a perpetual state of guilt and terror. Does the ghost of Judith Prendergast really haunt the church and, if so, what does she want from the villagers? With the door now unlocked, does her spirit now roam the village? And can her anger really reach as far as the wartorn fields of mainland Europe?

The Haunting of Briarwych Church by Amy Cross is so much more than a mere ghost story. This novella is a mystery-thriller, revolving around a single decision by an entire village to turn their backs on a woman in need. Father Loveford appears to be in denial about everything around him, but his cynicism leads to his discovery of several tragic secrets, all tied together by the late Judith Prendergast.

Rather than lean heavily on the paranormal aspects of the story, Cross does a great job utilizing the wartime setting and the desperation of a community without hope. The conflicts of faith and reason highlight the horrors of human nature. Not once could I guess where the author would take this story. Definitely one of my favorite Amy Cross stories.

As always,

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blizzard of Blood

Deep in the arctic, a military transport crashes. The soldiers aboard find themselves stranded and battling the elements to survive. . . But something is out there in the snow, watching them. Soon, they will discover that some legends are real and there are worse ways to die than from the cold.

Crashed by Eric S Brown is a blizzard of blood. A change in command goes horribly wrong as a military group is drawn into a battle with an army of Yetis. Although the beginning is slow and the story is basically a tooth and nail slaughter, the author's trademark beast feast delivers quality winter warfare. The setting is chilling, and the action is thrilling.

As always,

Sunday, November 4, 2018

When The Levee Breaks

Sometimes you have to retaliate. And you have to use what is at your disposal.

The BB Gun Incident by Joshua Scribner is a horrifying family drama or a terrifying coming of age, depending on how you look at the confrontation between brothers. The worst of Gary's story is barely mentioned, but it's enough to understand what led to the incident.

Once again, Scribner uses his well-crafted suspense to deliver a powerful story in just a few pages.

As always,

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Rough Draft?

Forget about the friendly imaginary friend, this family sufferings is not an imagination, they are dealing with a mysterious deadly force that holds grudges and make its way to ruin peaceful homes.

The Unseen Friend by Saba H is a short story about children who befriend a spirit, but the thing has disguised its true nature. When the parents realize what they have in their house, their actions only make things worse.

The author has an interesting idea, but the writing is awful and in serious need of a professional editor. I can't recommend the story as it is now.

As always,

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Odd Job

Travelin' Man tortures a woman for her bank account information.

Travelin' Man by Abe Evergreen is a jarring flash fiction piece. I expected there to be some twist, but it's extremely straight forward. The only real suspense occurs at the ATM. The rest is just a sicko describing his methodology. More violence than horror.

The story isn't that graphic, but, for some reason, my stomach really hurt after reading this.

As always.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Important Pieces

The most sophisticated "engineering" process on Earth is pregnancy among mammals -- especially among humans. There is already talk of using goats and cattle to produce industrial products instead of milk, and possibly bringing to term organic machines, programmed in eggs to develop in the womb. What if this happens... and continues? 

Might poor women earn a living by renting out their wombs for industrial "piecework" production of high-end organic machinery? In this chilling, award-nominated tale, a master of modern science fiction lets us glimpse an all-too possible near future when science, economics and individual dignity clash across the most intimate battlefield of all.

Piecework by David Brin is an emotional, science fiction roller coaster: life goals, personal choices, friendship and betrayal...every bit of it dripping with futuristic slang, almost to the point of distraction. I love the character Io and her determination, but despised Perseph and her irresponsible nature. The dramatic comparisons and contrasts are the perfect buildup for the shocking ending.

I had no idea what to expect from this story, but I certainly didn't expect the revelation at the end. All of a sudden, little details became extremely significant in hindsight. I definitely recommend this to sci-fi fans.

As always,