Sometimes I just want to read a great story that isn’t too thought-provoking, or time-consuming to read. A literary version of the TV shows Breaking Bad or Law & Order if you will. Pure entertainment without being heavy. Short stories, novellas, and especially anthologies have always held a place in my heart. I have recently read some entertaining stories in the following titles. A short story by Gord Rollo called Peeler, the novella Medira by Robert King and an amazing collection of 8 Crime-Fiction tales in the Anthology THUGLIT #11. Each of these are available for the Kindle and Nook, as well as hard copy versions at fair prices. Enjoy!
Medira (Memoirs on Being #2)
by Robert King
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform,(2013) 90 Pages
I thoroughly enjoyed volume one of the Memoirs on Being Series titled Time Ahead (see my review here), and I actually enjoyed this 2nd volume as well, although I have a couple of complaints, which I will get to shortly.This story is in keeping with the theme of the series: the evils of technology and existentialism. In Part one, our protagonist wakes up after a century of slumber to find that humans have been supplanted by Transhumans-a race of super humans made superior by technology.
In this volume, the main character awakens with amnesia in a parallel world, from almost two centuries (2005) in the past. He finds himself in the city of Medira, in the year 2200, where people are living in a society that utilizes the equivalent of our 19th century technology, as all harmful technologies have been outlawed a century earlier in Medira. It is ruled by a priestly elite that has found a way to view other planes of existence, in the process causing a catastrophic event. If I went any farther than this, you will have no need to read the book, since it is a wisp of a story, but I will say that the ending is a combination of disappointing, and thought-provoking (both frustrating and exhilarating).
Which brings me to my complaints. This, as with the first volume, is a very short read, about 90 pages. I can see great potential in the story-line, and Mr. King’s writing, but I wish that he would flesh it out more, because there are so many questions about characters, events and locations in my mind. Conversely, I can see a plus side to this problem. The story as it is, is really interesting, and quite disturbing in some ways. I am still asking myself questions about this book, a week after reading. So perhaps Robert King is a crafty trickster after all.
I may not have found this chapter as compelling as the first, but it has merit, and I am anxious to read the forthcoming 3rd and final volume to the trilogy. I am hoping that it ties everything together somehow. It will be interesting to re-read volumes one and two again before reading #3 when it arrives, perhaps there will be an AHA moment.
by Gord Rollo
Enemyone (2012) Kindle edition, 70 pages
Another over the top story from Gord Rollo. This short story, at 70 pages long titled Peeler delivered a combination of psychological thriller and horror, complete with minutely detailed gore.The story revolves around a cook at a mental institute, and a psychopathic patient/inmate who thinks that peeling his skin completely off will turn him into a God. The cook becomes obsessed with the Peeler, and as you can figure, the results are not what he bargained for. The graphically violent ending will jangle your giblets. If a bucket of pulsing entrails were to suddenly become a book, it would be titled Peeler. Gord Rollo never disappoints. Not for the squeamish.
THUGLIT Issue 11 (May/June 2014)
Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published April 30th 2014 by Thuglit Publishing
Thuglit is simply one of the best Hard-Boiled Crime anthologies around. Consisting of 8 killer crime-fiction stories that are written with authority, starting with SOUNDING by Matthew McBride, a comical story about smuggling that delivers a gritty dose of danger and mayhem. It is a perfect opener to this highly regarded anthology. Other standout stories include A BOTTLE OF SCOTCH AND A SHARP BUCK KNIFE by Scott Grand, and 192 OVER 110 by Max Sheridan– they are all gems actually. The writing is top-notch, with a dose of humor at times to counter the violent nature of the majority of the tales. I read this in Kindle Edition, which I was able to Steal at 0.99 cents! You can find the print edition for around $6. Which ever format you choose, I swear to you that you will be hooked!
Next week, I will be reviewing Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman by Robert L. O’Connell, and I AM Pilgrim by Terry Hayes