My Shorts, by Arthur Doweyko

Fans of science fiction—more specifically, time travel—will enjoy this collection of short stories. They’re the kind of short stories that always end abruptly, but leave enough information for the reader to piece together what happens. They vary from “holy crap” to “nuh-uh!” endings. While the stories hold similar themes, they do differ greatly between them; different theories and methods of time travel and different consequences. The author at least knows their stuff and it shows.

The one drawback is that these are short stories, so whatever world and characters the author creates are short-lived and not very fleshed out. Most of them are interesting enough that I would love to read a full-length novel.

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Two Hundred Very Short Stories, by Helen Keeling-Marston

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4 stars

 

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In an attempt to lessen the heartaches of not having enough time to properly finish a book, the author created a clever way around it; instead of one long book that you have to try and remember your place in, how about many teeny-tiny stories that make you feel like you’re reading a full-length novel, without the commitment and responsibility.

 

…I feel like I just wrote a sales pitch.

 

A lot of these stories have the same formula to them—lots of dialogue, some vague happenings, and then a punchline (twist). Most of these were meant to be silly, lighthearted tales. There’s a few, more serious ones sprinkled in, so don’t just think it’s all fun and games. They were simple compositions designed to get it all out and move along.

 

Definitely a book designed to be read in multiple sittings. The formula eventually grew repetitive. Quite a bit of creativity went into the stories, and it certainly shows.

 

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Trouble at Riverside Academy, by Liam Moiser


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Rachel’s pretty happy at Riverside Academy. Her and her boyfriend, Benjamin, are prefects, they’re about to graduate…life couldn’t be better. That all changed when one man walked onto campus with sinister intent.

Very well-rounded for a short story. Plot felt full and complete, with a good cast of characters. I loved the relationship between Rachel and Ben. It was a healthy, normal relationship. They had their differences, but they were solved in a mature way. A good idea to convey for readers of all ages. It managed to send powerful messages about lying and bad behavior, which made me think that this is geared for a younger audience.

The only thing I really had a problem with was the antagonists abrupt personality changes. I understand why it was done, but the execution and explanation felt a little flimsy. Almost as an afterthought.

Life’s not always easy, even when things are going your way. This book served as a good reminder for that, as well as reminding readers that they’re not alone. An easy, quick read that’s still satisfying.
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Stone & Iris, by Jonathan Ballagh

6_12_17 Stone & Iris

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Alison Shaw answered a call one night. One that would change her life, for better or for worse.

 

I want to say this had almost a 2001: A Space Odyssey feel to it. As Alison progresses through her development, the tone changes. And then it just gets sad. Yet, strangely heartwarming. Whatever the mood, the writing style matched with reader emotion. Enhanced it. The style goes from concrete, where we know exactly what’s going on, to obscure. It follows with the natural progression of the narrative.

 

It’s an intense little tale. I liked it, and am now having an existential crisis.

 

 

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