Tag Archives: short stories

Book Review: Eating Robots and Other Stories by Stephen Oram

4 May

 

The future is bright…or is it?

Step into a high-tech vision of the future with the author of Quantum Confessions and Fluence, Stephen Oram.

Featuring health-monitoring mirrors, teleempathic romances and limb-repossessing bailiffs, Eating Robots explores the collision of utopian dreams and twisted realities in a world where humanity and technology are becoming ever more intertwined.

Sometimes funny, often unsettling, and always with a word of warning, these thirty sci-fi shorts will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

 

Goodreads  Amazon India  Amazon US
A universal booklinker link that detects which country you’re in and links to Eating Robots myBook.to/EatingRobots

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

There’s not one or two words I can think of that would describe these stories. I’d read one and think that it was interesting and then the next one would leave me with my mouth hanging open. Some of these stories will really make you think. For example, exactly how far is too far when it comes to technology?

Although I found some of the stories to be entertaining fiction, most of them are more a social commentary on where we are headed with today’s technology. In fact, at the end of the book, there are comments by several experts about some of the stories and how close we really are to some of these things happening. Perhaps we should use this book as more of a warning as to where we are headed rather than just as entertainment.

That being said, I did like this book and I have to buy a copy for my son. He will love and dissect it and show me things in it that I missed.

 

About the Author

Stephen Oram writes thought provoking stories that mix science fiction with social comment, mainly in a recognisable near-future. He is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures’, once described as the ‘Glastonbury of cyberculture’. He has collaborated with scientists and future-tech people to write short stories that create debate about potential futures, most recently with the Human Brain Project and Bristol Robotics Laboratory as part of the Bristol Literature Festival.

As a teenager he was heavily influenced by the ethos of punk. In his early twenties he embraced the squatter scene and was part of a religious cult, briefly. He did some computer stuff in what became London’s silicon roundabout and is now a civil servant with a gentle attraction to anarchism.

He has two published novels – Quantum Confessions and Fluence – and several shorter pieces.

  

Find Stephen Oram on:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

 

 

 

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Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Park Stories by K. Kris Loomis

30 Mar

No time for novels? Try these Single Sit Stories!
What happens when a distraught teen and a whacky old woman meet in the park? How about a couple that weaves tales about spies and incurable diseases? Or when a father and daughter are presented with the opportunity to get to know one another better under unusual circumstances?
In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. They are humorous, thought-provoking, and written to be read in one sitting.

LOVELY HORNS
FRIDAY AFTERNOON
THE KING STOMPER

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

These are short stories about different people meeting at a park bench, whether by accident or on purpose. “Lovely Horns” is about desperation, kindness, and hope. “Friday Afternoon” is about avoidance. “The King Stomper” is cute but is about communication, or the lack of. 

If you’re looking for something to read in one sitting, I recommend Three Modern Shorts: The Park Stories. They’re short but well written and intriguing. I’m hoping to read more of this author’s short stories.

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

Website: http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

 

 

 

The purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review: Deadly Beauties by Cherita Smith

16 Feb

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Genre: Dark paranormal, young adult

Pages: 41

Publication Date: August 3, 2016

Hell has its demons. Lux has Foster Dad George in LUX AETERNA, a coming-of-age superpower origin story—of a darker sort. Lux is just one of five troubled girls who haunt this trio of dark paranormal tales that will appeal to fans of Laini Taylor & Francesca Lia Block.

In MAUDLIN CARNIVAL, a mysterious investigator hunts through the memories of Evelyn Jones in search of the clues he needs to prevent her tragic death. But time is almost out. What will happen to Evelyn if he should fail?

In ROZA MIRA, Svetlana, Catalina and Soojin have it all: beauty, youth, successful modeling careers… and a creepy man in black who watches them from afar. But each day he gets closer. They call him El Flaco, Geulimja, a Rasputin in a suit. Who is he and what does he want? The three girls will soon find out—whether they like it or not. And chances are good it will be “or not.”

Links

 Amazon     Goodreads     iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Kobo

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

In some ways, it’s more difficult to review short stories because there’s less content than in a full-length novel, however, I did enjoy these short stories. They’re dark but interesting.

There wasn’t a lot to Lux Aeterna, but I did like where it was going with her power.

Maudlin Carnival was a little difficult to follow but it had an interesting premise. This investigator is looking through the memories of Evelyn Jones, trying to find some tidbit to help avoid her horrible death. Will he find something in time to help her?

The Roza Mira stories were my favorites. They combine real life problems of young successful supermodels with a bit of paranormal. These girls are so driven, but are they too driven? Will they give up too much to get the fame that they crave?

I definitely recommend Deadly Beauties if you like dark fiction. I’d like to read more!

 

About the Author

41xlnxznfel-_ux250_Cherita Smith is a writer of fictional words, doer of magical deeds, lover of social justice, dope street art and pretty, girly things. A Los Angeles native, she writes speculative fiction of all kinds, from dystopian sci-fi to paranormal urban fantasy. Whatever the subgenre, dark, lush and haunting with a dash of creepy-thriller is her preferred writing jam.

In the not-too-distant past, her bread and butter was fundraising and online marketing for organizations like Brave New Films and Film Independent, who produce the Los Angeles Film Festival and Spirit Awards. She did a lot of writing then, too, only none of it was speculative and it was (mostly) non-fiction.

 

 

Short Story Review: Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka

30 Oct

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Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.

 

My Review

I got this story from Amazon when it was available for free.

Environmentally Friendly is very short but intense. A man has escaped from a psychiatric hospital and is waging war on Mother Nature with a flame thrower and a chainsaw. The LAPD, of course, wants to stop him but one officer wants to protect him as well by helping him to complete his perceived mission.

Even though this story is short, I really liked it. It is suspenseful and even has a twist. If you’re looking for a quick but good read, I recommend Environmentally Friendly.

 

Available on Amazon.

Short Story Review: Mortal Veil by Vanessa Fewings

23 Jul

29069128Title: Mortal Veil (Stone Masters Vampire #2.5)

Author: Vanessa Fewings

Genre: Paranormal, Short Stories

Publication Date: January 1, 2011

 

About the Book

(from Goodreads)

With no recollection of the last three years of his life, Zach Harris finds himself stumbling back down the rabbit hole when his new friend Feebs takes him searching for answers. The only clues: a mysterious bank deposit of a half-million pounds and Zach’s branded-black tattoo of a raven. Their quest for the truth will lead them to the seediest parts of London, and Zach will have to face the unspeakable truth of a past better off forgotten.
A short story from V.M.K. Fewings’ beloved Stone Master’s series, “Mortal Veil” features familiar characters in the always-sexy Belshazzar’s night club, favorite hangout of England’s most wicked vampires. Fewings brings vampire fiction back to its Anne Rice roots with dark deeds and delicious monsters. Fans eagerly awaiting Fewings’ new release Dominon will love this return to the world of nightwalkers, and new readers will get their first taste of this thrilling series that gives vampires back the dangerous allure they’ve held on readers since Dracula first hit shelves.

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this short story for an honest review.

I ran across this short story on my TBR list and didn’t understand why I hadn’t read it already since it’s only 26 pages. I figured out later that it’s book #2.5 in the Stone Masters Vampire Series. It actually stands on its own as a short story, though.

The main character, Zach, has lost the last 3 years of his life. He has no memory of where he’s been or what he was doing. His new friend, “Feebs,” decides to help him try to figure it out.

What they find is a shock (to them and me). This was a good short read. Now I’m definitely going to have to read the rest of this series!

 

About the Author

1507905Vanessa Fewings is the bestselling romance author of the highly acclaimed Enthrall Sessions.

Vanessa is also the author of The Stone Masters Vampire Series. Prior to publishing, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse and midwife. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has lived in Germany, Hong Kong, and Cyprus.

Born and raised in England, Vanessa now proudly calls herself an American and resides in California with her husband.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialVMK

Instagram: @vanessafewings

Book Review: Krim Du Shaw by Talia Haven

29 Mar

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Krim was just a colt when the stallions of the Du Shaw herd led him and the mares to the stone building with its tall walls and heavy wooden door. The mares knew what the stallions yearned for, and they knew what would happen if the stallions gave in. But for Krim, it would be much later before he would discover for himself what lies beyond the stone wall.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this short story for an honest review.

Talia Haven has done it again. She has a talent for writing short stories that evoke such strong feelings! I reviewed Mama Cried a while back and it was powerful. 

 Krim Du Shaw is a fable about how unicorns became nonexistent. It is such a sad story! This is not a short story I would recommend for children but it is a good, short read for adults.

 

Available on Amazon.

 

Book Review & Giveaway: The Warning by Sophie Hannah

14 Aug

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Date Published: June 30, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
 
 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

When a kindly stranger does Chloe a good deed, she decides she must repay him. But in tracing him, she meets a sympathetic woman named Nadine, who warns Chloe to stay away from the man at all costs. “Give him nothing, tell him nothing, don’t trust him,” she says. “Avoid him like the plague.”

Chloe knows the sensible thing to do: walk away. But her curiosity gets the best of her. What is the truth about the good Samaritan? How dangerous could he be? And can Chloe find the answers without putting herself and her daughter in harm’s way?

A twisting, razor-sharp suspense story that will keep you guessing to the very end, The Warning features an appearance from Simon Waterhouse, next seen in the full-length thriller Woman With a Secret – already hailed as “mesmerizing” (Lisa Gardner) and “unputdownable” (Liane Moriarty).

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

The Warning is an interesting short story about Chloe, who is pretty pathetic. She is naive and so desperate to be loved that when Tom does something nice for her, and does a little sweet talking, she’s instantly obsessed.

After a coworker warned Choe to stay away from Tom, she doesn’t know what to do. What happens next totally surprised me.

I recommend this short story to anyone who likes a quick read full of suspense that will keep your interest.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

Excerpt

I haven’t chosen to have this conversation. Nadine Caspian followed me. Forced it on me.

She’s standing three steps above me on the staircase. It makes me feel trapped and small. I wish we could talk on the same level, but we can hardly stand side by side on one step—they’re too narrow.

I can’t decide if she’s attractive or not. Her hair is nice—dark blond, thick and subtly highlighted. Her face is heart shaped and her features big and doll-like, but with a slightly hardened look to them. She’s around my age: early thirties.

“Something tells me you haven’t known Tom Rigbey long,” she says. “You don’t know him well—am I right?”

I nod.

“This is none of my business, but I’ll say it anyway. You seem like a lovely person, so go and get your gift bag back off Rukia and give it to someone else, anyone else. Have nothing to do with Tom Rigbey. Give him nothing, tell him nothing, trust him not at all.’

 

 

 

About the Author

Sophie Hannah ap1Sophie Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of nine psychological thrillers as well as The Monogram Murders, the first novel to be authorized by the estate of Agatha Christie. Her books have received numerous awards, including the UK National Book Award, and are published in twenty-seven countries. She lives in Cambridge, England.

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.sophiehannah.com/?visloc=US

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sophiehannahauthor

Twitter:  @sophiehannahCB1

Blog:  http://www.sophiehannah.com/about/

Giveaway

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Short Story Review: Mama Cried by Talia Haven

11 Aug

24423468Title: Mama Cried

Author: Talia Haven

Genre: Short Story, Fantasy

Publication Date: January 9, 2015

About the Book

(from Goodreads)

Jenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away.
Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make a powerful decision.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this story for an honest review.

Mama Cried is one of the best short stories I have read. Even though it is short, it evoked powerful emotions.

Jenny, the main character, has a decision to make. Although I never found out exactly what her choices were, I could guess, and it doesn’t really matter because Jenny made the right choice in my opinion.

If you want a quick but powerful read, I definitely recommend Mama Cried.

 

Book Review: Big Fish by Ahmad Amani

19 May

21922318Title: Big Fish

Author: Ahmad Amani

Genre: Children

Publication Date: April 9, 2014

About the Book:

Big Fish had a big friend. They could speak and laugh together. In the sky, Big Fish could see anything on the earth, and it saw that its ocean was only a part of the earth, not all of the world.

 

My Review:

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

I had read one other book, Math City, by Ahmad Amani that was difficult for me to get through but when he asked me to review Big Fish, which is for young children, I thought I would give it a try.

The drawings are simple and appear to be drawn by a child. My kindle isn’t color so I don’t know if they’re actually black and white or if there’s some color to them. They’re simple enough, though, that I don’t think color would make too much difference.

The story is different. Big Fish doesn’t have any friends in the ocean so he tries to change himself so he can make friends. That doesn’t work and he’s very lonely but he ends up making friends with the moon. As the moon gets smaller in size, Big Fish starts to cry. His tears are the source of Earth’s rain.

I don’t think young children would like this story. It ends on a sad note with Big Fish crying to make rain. It’s also confusing and doesn’t flow well. I don’t think it would keep a child’s attention.

 

About the author

4728475Ahmad lives in the Middle East. He is a graduate of the Art University in Tehran. He has worked for many newspapers in Iran as a journalist.
He hopes that his books make you think, while you enjoy it.

Book Review: Adventures with Ragweed by Linda Lou Crosby

20 Jan

RAGWEEDCOVERTitle: Adventures with Ragweed: A Collection of Whimsical Tales

Author: Linda Lou Crosby

Illustrator: Andy Atkins

Genre: Young Adult, Children, Humor, Short Stories

Date Published: February 10, 2014

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About the Book

Whimsy – Humorous Tales of Adventure, Friendship and Outdoor Ventures For Young Adult Readers and those young at Heart

Adventures with Ragweed is a collection of humorous short stories filled with adventure and family themes.

Ragweed is a tribute to the whimsical part of each of us. Follow this young teen and her best friend, Marney as they travel to Mexico for a fishing trip, where the family is to shoot a pilot for a television show, instead, find themselves in an unexpected sea storm.

Laugh out loud as Ragweed takes on the tennis elite at the country club or attempts to rearrange their perfectly cut lawns.

Always one to learn new things, this young freckled face gal with the unruly blonde hair, builds a float, rides a horse and grows a garden – always getting into unintentional trouble and conning her friends to partake. Each task done with her own unique vies of the world.

Light Hearted and Funny

These stories are meant to entertain. It’s difficult to narrow it down to one specific genre as the book is a collection of short stories suitable for young adults as well as for an older crowd with a sense of humor. Family Relationships, Friendships, Essays and Humor are categories all presented within the pages of this book.

If you like the outdoors you might enjoy reading about Ragweed’s horse riding exploits or her compost-creating stunts. She spends a great deal of time playing sports and in the garden. Most of the stories are based on the author’s own experiences when she was a young adult but some of us know that inner youth tends to follow us into adulthood – so if you have similar backgrounds, these tales will make you grin.

Beautifully Illustrated

Each story in this humorous collection is beautifully illustrated. The pictures capture the character and facial expressions of the gals in these short stories and in our opinion add to the text. There is also an animated video on the author’s page that is worth watching. The artist tried to capture the fun-spirited character of Ragweed and when the pictures were put into film, the story came alive visually. It’s like a short cartoon.

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

Ragweed is a girl whose family is wealthy and she often finds herself bored, which is not usually a good thing. When she gets bored, she tends to find trouble. This book is a collection of short stories about Ragweed and her adventures from starting her own garden to getting into mischief at school with her only friend, Marney.

The stories are funny and the focus of each story is described well. For example, when Ragweed and her classmates build a float, the float is easy to visualize because of the detailed description.

Many of the characters are interesting. Ragweed, of course, is the most interesting and unique person in these stories. I like how she got her nickname. In fact, there are two reasons for her nickname. The one thing that surprised me was when I found out that Ragweed was a senior in high school. She seemed much younger by her actions and in the way she was described.

A couple examples of other interesting characters are Tex Loveland, a neighbor who is a retired rodeo clown. He saves the day for Ragweed a couple times. And Penelope, a girl who Ragweed plays tennis against.

I definitely recommend this book for children as well as young adults.

 

About the Author

LL mugLinda Lou Crosby is a video producer, storyteller and former professional athlete. Like Ragweed, she has a unique approach to life. Ragweed is a part of herself she wanted to share with others. Linda Lou has a great sense of humor and likes to laugh and make others laugh too.
She currently lives with her husband in Montana and California where on clear days you can find her fishing, hunting or hiking.
 
She and Ragweed hope you will enjoy each tale in this book as much as Ragweed enjoyed living the adventures.
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