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From the Indie Side Paperback – May 1, 2016
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- Publisher : Createspace Independent Pub (May 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 456 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1533023131
- ISBN-13 : 978-1533023131
- Item Weight : 1.68 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.15 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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In his Author’s Note, Peter Cawdron noted some important science fiction short stories, such as Asimov’s Nightfall and The Bicentennial Man and Philip K. Dick’s stories that inspired Minority Report and Total Recall. Stories like that were hugely influential to me as a teenager. I had a few collections of science fiction short stories from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, and frequently found myself returning to them over the years.
This could very well be a collection like that. Each of the stories is unique and presents their own distinct view on science fiction or fantasy (or in a few cases, both).
Along the way, I discovered some authors I hadn’t read previously – ones that I’ll definitely be paying attention to in the future – authors like Brian Spangler, Kate Danley, Sara Foster, Anne Frasier, Kev Heritage, Susan May, and Mel Hearse. I can’t find a lousy one in the bunch, honestly.
For me, though, three stories stood out. I loved all the individual tales, but the ones from Ernie Lindsey, Sara Foster, and Peter Cawdron really stuck with me and will ruminate in my mind for some time.
The story from Lindsey was so simple, yet was so relevant and so profound. “The Man With Two Legs,” is the title of Lindsey’s story, which is designed to catch the reader off-guard. Why wouldn’t a man have two legs? And thus begins a fantasy/sci-fi tale about a man who has two legs in a world where the general population has just one. One leg to keep them in line, to check their behavior, and to oppress opposition to the status quo. Those two legs represent so much, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, this story will stick with me.
Sara Foster had a short little yarn called “Cipher,” which tells the story of a woman out for a visit to her ailing father when a bomb goes off, leaving her separated from her family. The man she meets takes care of her as all the apocalyptic potentials raced through my head. Suddenly the story was over in an instant and the shocking end seared the story into my memory.
And Peter Cawdron’s “The Man Who Remembered Today” caps off the anthology. For an Australian, Mr. Cawdron does a phenomenal job of putting us inside of an Arab-American working as a paramedic in New York City when terrorists are striking all around him. The writing is top-notch and crisp, not hesitating from the plot for a second, as Kareem (the aforementioned paramedic) cannot remember yesterday, only the events of today. Events that haven’t happened yet. Cawdron expertly follows Kareem throughout his day, putting us on a collision course with an epic conclusion.
Oh…did I forget to mention these are all independent authors? I suppose the title may have given it away, but the writing sure didn’t. This is up there was any of the short stories I would have devoured as a teenager and continue to love today. Just because the word “indie” is slapped in front of someone’s title doesn’t alter the fact they are phenomenally talented at what they do.
Pick this collection up. Read it. Pick and choose if you like. At the most, the longest story will take a little over half an hour. Some will take a few minutes. All are worthy of your time.
What a great collection! While made up of mostly genre pieces, this volume touches on a number of them, hitting most of the sub-genres as well. For someone just getting into indie authors, whether on the tails of Howey's huge success, or by the relentless assault indie authors have conducted on the e-book charts, this is a great entry point. Just a sample of some of the stories within:
"The Winter Lands" (Jason Gurley) - Like an amuse bouche, this story zips in, gives you an exciting taste and then leaves just as fast. The story asks many questions and answers virtually none but at no point do you feel cheated. I couldn't help but think that it would make a great Twilight Zone episode. I look forward to taking in some of Mr. Gurley's longer works.
"Going Gray" (Brian Spangler) - As derivative as this seems, King's "The Mist" comes to mind, you are left with such a feeling of malaise from this story that I didn't care about the framing. This piece capitalizes on both the naivety and the helplessness of a child. Finding out that this is the prelude to a much bigger world in the afterword was just a bonus.
"Queen Joanna" (Kate Danley) - Subtly disturbing, this is a tale of royal duty that ends up somewhere you may not have expected. Again, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this would easily make a great teleplay. If only Hollywood would get on the indie author bandwagon.
"Redoubt" (Michael Bunker) - A prelude/companion to his longer works, Wick and The Last Pilgrims, "Redoubt" is a solid piece of post-apocalypse fiction that shows the reader what odd bedfellows extreme circumstances can create.
Overall, the stories in this book form a serious gateway drug for the growing numbers of indie authors. Each author offers some insight into his or her story which made the entire read much more enjoyable for me. In some cases, they have turned me onto more works in the same setting that I will be acquiring in the near future. Given the digital price tag, this is a steal right now. Buy it. You won't be sorry.
I started from the stories of some of the authors I already knew (in reading order): Jason Gurley ( Greatfall , The Man Who Ended the World ), Michael Bunker ( Wick , Pennsylvania ), Hugh Howey ( Wool , Sand ), Peter Cawdron ( Little Green Men , Monsters ) and then I moved to some of the ones unknown to me: Ernie Lindsey, Sara Foster.
I can say this anthology is one of the best you can find at the moment and the average quality is impressive, each author has contributed with its best material. You will fall in love with many of these authors and you will want to read more from them, I am sure you will not regret.
Top reviews from other countries
In sum,this is a good read as well as a great idea, which gives an inquisitive reader a chance to discover some different authors. I think this is particularly good for readers who are experimenting with the genre and don't necessarily want to invest the time and money in a full-blown novel – sci-fi books can run quite long. I found the short stories to have a good flow and I liked that I didn't get bogged down.
When I started reading the book, I'd heard of a couple of the contributors, but now I've finished I will definitely check out the work of some of the others. There's a useful author website list at the end to make this easy. My favourite stories which deserve special mention, were Sara Foster's Cipher and Peter Cawdron's, The Man Who Remembered Today.
I would definitely recommend everyone grab a copy of this book as it gives an insight and an introduction into the parallel, but no less talented world of indie writing and publishing.
Formatting, proof reading and presentation were up to scratch.
Loved all, but particularily Going Gray, The Winter Lands, Mouth Breathers, The War Veteran -> Best story <- REDOUBT.
Once again proof that this is the age of the short story. Buy, read & enjoy.